Autmn B. Sims
Growing Independence & Fluency

                                    Express Yourself!

Rationale: Reading fluency consists of five main components: faster reading, smoother reading, expressive reading, silent reading, and voluntary reading.  This lesson is designed to help children use
expression as they read.  They will improve their reading fluency by doing repeated
readings and dyad readings with a peer.

Materials: chalk, chalkboard, index card for each student with period on one side and exclamation point on other, If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff, Primary paper pencils, selection of 2nd grade level books

Procedure: 1. Begin by explaining what expression is and what it means to a story.
"Boys and girls today we are going to talk about using expression in our reading.  When
we use expression we put our feelings and emotions into our words.  We might express a
sentence with excitement, sadness, or fear.  Expression makes our reading more
interesting and exciting whether we are reading for an audience or ourselves."
2. "Now I'm going to say some sentences and I want you to let me know if I used expression or not.  I
want you to give me thumbs up if you hear expression in my voice, and I want you to give
me thumbs down if you do not." Read this sentence with no expression, "I had to go to
the doctor today.  OK guys, what did you think?  You’re right; I used no expression when
I said that sentence."  Now read another with excitement, "The team won the game, now
they’re headed for the championship.  Could you hear the excitement in my voice this
3. Review punctuation symbols and discuss what they mean to a sentence.  "Now
we need to talk about punctuation marks.  Can anyone name some for me?  Good;
periods, exclamation point, question mark, etc.  Punctuation is the symbol at the end of a
sentence that helps us to know what kind of expression we should use when we are
reading the sentence.  When we see a period we know that the sentence is making a
statement.  When we read these sentences we are usually just stating them, but we can
change the pitch and volume of our voice to make them more interesting.  When we see
an exclamation point at the end of a sentence we know that there is some excitement.
Look at this sentence on the board and listen while I read it to you.  If you think it should
have a period show the side of the index card with the period, and if you think it should
have an exclamation point show the side of your card with an exclamation point."
4. "Now I’m going to read you a book called If You Give a Pig a Pancake.  I want you to listen to
my voice as I read this story, and see if you can pick out what kind of expressions I
5.  "Now I want you to write a story about anything.  It can be a story about
something that really happened or it can be something that you made up.  I want you to
use different punctuation marks throughout your story to let me see the expression you
are using.  Remember you can use periods, exclamation points, and question marks.
When you’re finished choose a partner and read your stories to each other.  Listen
carefully to see what your partner is feeling while he writes the story."
6.  I will provide a selection of books at the appropriate level for the students.  The book will also be one with lots of expression.  "Students I want you to choose a book and practice reading it
silently to yourself and then out loud to your partner."
7. For assessment, students will bring their book to teacher’s desk to read it to the teacher.  The teacher will have a checklist and be looking for expression, smoother reading, and faster

Numeroff, Laura. If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Scholastic: New York.
1998 (Elizabeth Smith) “Use Expression!"

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