Candis Busby
Growing Independence and Fluency
"Jazz It Up"

Rational:  Reading with expression is the most important skill for children to develop in order to become great readers.  Reading fluently as well as expressively will help children to learn to love reading.  In this lesson, children will learn to put a little jazz into their reading by showing expression in their tone.

Materials:  Primary paper, pencils, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs as told by Jon Scieszka, age appropriate short stories (these can be made up by the teacher with help from the students and read with expression), marker board and markers.  For example, the short story may be, "The house is on fire!  Oh my!  What shall we do?  Some one call the police.  The house is on fire!"

1)    Tell the students that they are going to learn how to read with a little added jazz, meaning a little more expression in their voices.  Help or guidance may be needed for words they do not understand or can not pronounce.
2)    "Now we are going to read a new and exciting story.  Let's make our story interesting so that everyone will want to read it.  Let's make our voices sound really scary, or really funny and loud, or even very deep like an angry old bear.  Are you ready to read with expression?"
3)    Read a short story with a very dry tone and ask the kids if they liked it and would want to read it again.  (The reply should be "no.")  "Stories are more enjoyable if you read it the way we talk to our friends; we show excitement and expression.  Do you know what tells you what expression to make?  That's right!   The punctuation mark tells you what expression to make."  Write a sentence on the board:  The house is on fire!  Ask the kids to read the sentence with expression as shown by the exclamation point.
4)    I will read a few pages of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs without any expression.  Ask if the students would like to hear more.  Read a few more pages and this time, really jazz it up with lots of enthusiasm and expression!  Now ask if they would like to hear the rest of the story.  You’re response should be that they really enjoyed the pages read with expression.  Point out the difference voice and expression made to the story to make it exciting.
5)    Call on children to read the age appropriate short story that is written on the marker board.  Tell them to read it first with a dry and boring voice.  Assign the students a partner and have them write what appropriate expression should be added to make the story correct with lots of jazz.  (Write this expression on their primary paper.)
6)    Have the students read their new and exciting stories.
7)    For assessment, I will periodically pull children aside and have them put a little jazz into a short story that they would like to read to me.  I will record how they use each correct expression and reward them for the new skill they have learned.

Reading Genie
Lindsay Moseley

Click here to return to Challenges .