Expression!

By: S. Davis Brooks
Growing Independence & Fluency

Rationale:  The purpose of this lesson is to teach children to read expressively, while at the same time helping them to read more fluently.  Reading expressively is one of the four factors, other than being able to read smoothly, silently, and avidly, which need to be mastered when concerning reading skills.  When knowing how to read expressively, text is more enjoyable to children.

Materials: chalk, chalkboard, multiple copies of Dr. Seuss's book, Oh, the Places You'll Go! (Publishing company: Random House: 1990), and multiple age appropriate decodable books.

Procedures:
1. The lesson will begin with a review of the importance of noticing what kind of punctuation is at the end of a sentence when reading.  There are three different punctuation marks that we are going to learn about and they are:  a period, an exclamation point, and a question mark.
2. The teacher will write three sentences on the chalkboard and each one will contain one of the punctuation marks.  Once they are written on the board, the teacher will read the sentences out loud to the class modeling the appropriate expression for the sentence.  "Class listen to me…Today is going to be such a fun day!,  Did you go to the game last night,?  and Ms. Smith told me not to run in the halls anymore."  "Good job listen.  Now it's the class's turn to read the sentence with expression, just as I did.  Let's say it together…sentence one………"
3. Next, the teacher will pair up students.  Then the partners are to write three of their own sentences (using each punctuation mark).
4. Once everyone is finished, each pair of students will present their sentences to the class, by reading each sentence with the appropriate vocal expressions.  After each sentence is read, a student will be called on to answer which punctuation was used in the sentence.
5. Then the teacher will combine three pairs of students (making three groups of around six).
6. Once in these larger groups, they are going to read Oh, the Places You'll Go!, by, Dr. Seuss.  Each individual will read three pages out loud to the group, along with demonstrating the appropriate vocal expression in the reading.  After one student finishes his/her turn reading, the book will be passed to the next student sitting to the right of him/her.
7. The teacher will be walking around the room, so she can catch any mistakes from the students.  Also, the teacher will encourage the students to help each other within their small group.
8. In closing and before the assessment, the teacher will review one more time the three different punctuation marks.  Next the teacher will reread her sample sentences that she wrote on the board and again using the correct expression(s).
9. For assessment the teacher will have the students come up individually during their free reading time to read an age appropriate decodable book with expression.  The teacher will mark the number of times that each punctuation mark was read with expression correctly or incorrectly.
10. For a follow-up activity the teacher can ask that the students go home tonight and look for examples of sentences with punctuation marks in magazines, newspapers, etc.  Then the next day they are to turn in at least two sentences from a magazine, etc.  Once all the sentences are turned in, the class will make a big chart as a class and glue each sentence in the appropriate column to see which punctuation mark has the most.

References:
 Murray, Dr. Bruce. 2001.  The Reading Genie Website.  Growing independence and Fluency:  www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/fluency.html
 

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