Children must be in the full alphabetic stage in order to become fluent readers. Reading fluency is an important skill for beginning readers. To become a fluent reader, the reader will master the following components: reading smoothly, reading with expression. reading silently, and reading expressively. This lesson will not only focus on reading fluency, but will concentrate on reading with expression. Students will reach this goal by practicing reading a familiar book using expression.
A copy of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin for each student, The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isabel Finn and Jack Tickle, a chart with sentences that have differing expressions, and paper for the teacher to administer individual one minute reads.
1. I will begin by modeling (using the big book, The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isabel Finn and Jack Tickle) fluent and nonfluent reading. I will explain to the students that it is important to reread a sentence if they come to an unfamiliar word or a word that does not make sense in the sentence.
2. "Today we are going to learn to read with expression. I am going to read some sentences aloud. (How are you today? I am fine, thank you. Have a good day!) Do you notice anything different in the way I read these sentences? Good job, I used different expressions in each sentence. By using different expressions we can make reading a story more enjoyable."
3. "This time I am going to read these sentences again without using expression. Can you tell a difference? Which way was more appealing to you? I agree, the first way was much more enjoyable. Now let’s read them together using expression! Use your conversation voice, not your outside voice while we practice. Good job! You’ve got it!"
4. "You each need to choose a partner and get a copy of Click, Clack, Moo. Take turns reading the story to each other using expression while reading aloud. You will have ten minutes for this activity. If you finish one time, go back a review a second time."
5. "Now I want you to swap partners and try this activity again. You will again have ten minutes to finish this activity."
Have each child do a one minute read from the story while the teacher makes notes on the child’s expressions while reading. The teacher will have to child do another one minute read later in the week to see if the child continues to use expression while reading.
Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type. Scholastic: New York, 2000.
Finn, Isobel and Jack Tickle. The Very Lazy Ladybug. Little Tiger Press: London, 1999.
Smith, Elizabeth. “Using Expression!” www.auburn.edu/rdggenie
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