Get Excited, Get Mad, Show Emotion!
Growing Independence and Fluency
Jessica Wallace
It is important for students to read with fluency. Having fluency means being able to read faster, smoother, and also comes reading with expression. Reading with expression has to be taught and practiced because it does not come natural. In this lesson students will be taught the importance of reading with expression and it will show the student how changes in voice can show different kinds of expression.

  1. Chalkboard and chalk
  2. The book Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
  3. Made up sentences for the board
  4. Sentence strips with sentences on them, some without punctuation marks and some with just the end marks on them.
  5. Paper and pencil for each student
  6. Copies of poems from the book For Laughing Out Loud by Jack Prelutsky (one poem for each student)
  7. Checklist for each child

Sample sentences:
Get out of my room!
Where is my toothbrush?
Letâs go to the mall.
Itâs my birthday tomorrow!
I donât feel so good.

Sentences Strips:
This is my friend, Hope
What did you say
I already told you I donât want green beans
Touchdown Auburn

Sample Checklist:
Does the studentâs voice go high or low as he or she is reading?
Does the student change his or her voice to loud or soft?
Does the studentâs voice change reflect the end punctuation mark?
Does the studentâs voice stay the same as he or she is reading?

  1. First the teacher will explain the class what reading with expression means. ãToday class we are going to learn why it is important to read with expression. You use expression in your day to day life when you tell stories to your friends or relatives. When you get excited about something your voice might get higher and louder. For example when I say I can not wait for Auburn Football this fall!! I am excited so my voice gets higher and louder. If I am angry by voice my get lower and if I am sad my voice my get softer. If we didnât use any expression when we talked then we would tell pretty boring stories. So when we read, we are reading a story. So we have to use expression when we read like we do when we talk. So why do we use expression when we read? Right!! To make reading come alive!ä

  1. ãNow I have put some sentences on the board. Letâs read that first sentence without reading with expression. ãGet out of my room!ä Do you think the speaker is happy, sad, or mad? Why do you think the speaker is mad? Good Job, we can assume that the speaker is mad because the punctuation mark at the end is an exclamation mark. Meaning that the speaker wants his or her comment heard. Is the speaker being nice or commanding? Commanding is right, good job! So we guessed that the speaker is mad because of the exclamation mark at the end and the command he or she is making. Now letâs read this sentence with expression! Great job!! I can really tell yaâll were angry.ä Now continue reading through the sentences the same way as the first one. Reviewing the differences of the punctuation marks at the end of the sentences and what they mean.

  1. ãOk class now that we have reviewed punctuation marks and have worked on reading with expression. I am going to put some sentences on the board without a punctuation mark at the end. Get out your pencil and paper and at your tables I want you to take the sentences I have on the board and as a group come up with the end marks you want at the end of each sentence. Do want the sentence to show anger, excitement, a question, or just a statement. I will give you about 5-7 minutes then one person from each table will come up and take the end marks I have here and tape them beside the sentences. Then the class will read with expression according to the end mark.ä

  1. After the students have completed the group work, I will pass out the checklist for reading with expression for each student. We will go over checklist so the students understand what they should mark. And then I will read the book Ella Sarah Gets Dressed. As I read the students will take note of how I read with expression and complete the checklist making sure that I am reading with expression. ãNow class, as I read I want you to really listen how my voice changes with each new sentence. Notice how the story comes alive through expression. Then after I read I want you to complete the checklist for reading for expression based on what I read. Then we will discuss it.ä

  1. Next, the teacher will pass our various poems from the book For Laughing Out Loud by Jack Prelutsky, one for each student. ãOkay boys and girls now I want you to take the poems that I have just given you and read them silently. I will give you a few minutes and while you read it silently pay attention to the end marks. You can even mark on the poem with your pencil any marks that tell you to read louder or softer on certain sentences. Then you will get put with a partner and each of you will read the poem expressively to each other. As one is reading take the checklist you did for me and make sure that the person reading is following the checklist. Give them constructive suggestions if you think that they need to do something different. We all know what constructive means right! Good thatâs right. We want to make sure our partner is reading correctly. Because after you read to your partner, one at a time, I will call you back to read your poem to me and I will complete the same checklist you have on you to make sure you are reading with expression.ä

The teacher will call the students back one by one and as they read mark on the checklist making sure that they are reading with expression. If their voice goes higher or lower, louder or softer with each sentence.


Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodoes-Irvine, Harcourt, Inc. New York (2003)

For Laughing Out Loud by Jack Prelutsky, Alfred A. Knopf. New York (1991)

Express Yourself! by Jenna Ward

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