Express What You Read!

By Lauren Milligan

Growing Fluency Design


Rationale: In order to become great readers, students must use their tone, pitch, and speed to better convey the text’s meaning. This lesson will give students practice reading with expression.

Materials: 1.)There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback 2.) Decodable books 3.)Short video of expressive story teller 4.) Tape recorder


Introduce the lesson by asking students if they have ever listened to a storyteller. Ask them, “What makes them a good storyteller? How do they make the story exciting?” When you read a story, it should sound as if you are telling the story. Good storytellers use the tone, pitch, and speed of their voice to make the story exciting. You may whisper, yell loudly, read slowly, or very quickly. Today we are going to learn how to be good storytellers.

Show students short video of a good storyteller. Discuss with students what made the storyteller a good storyteller.

Read the book There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. I will demonstrate the difference between a good storyteller and a poor storyteller by using expression while I am reading. (First read the book with monotone, same pitch, slowly, and with no expression. Then read the story with expression) Which way did you enjoy listening to? What made it more exciting?

Split the class into partners. Give each pair a decodable book. I want each of you to read your book to your partner with expression.  If time allows, read it again because reading a book more than once helps with your expression.

Walk around to each pair and listen to them read with expression for assessment.

Fluency- connected or word by word

Tone- appropriate for text?

Pitch- loud and soft, or one pitch

Next, give each pair a tape recorder. I want one partner to record while the other reads. I want each of you to record and read. Then listen to your tapes and see if you can hear yourself read with expression.


Return to Caravans Index.


Other Expression Lesson Plans:

Use Expression!-

Express Yourself!-

Using Expression-