Ellen Spinks
Growing Independence and Fluency
 
 

EXERCISING EXPRESSION

Rationale: It is very important for children to become fluent readers. Beginner readers focus most of their attention to decoding words. For students to become better readers they must read faster, smoother and more expressively. In time, students will be able to do this. It is important, however, for students to be able to listen to a fluent reader and then practice. The goal of this lesson is to help students read with expression. They will learn about the changes that a voice can use to show different kinds of expression.

Materials:
¨ Copy of book, No, David!  by David Shannon
¨ Chalk, chalk board
¨ Paper and pencil per child
¨ A made up story by the teacher that can be told with expression.  Ex.  "Yesterday, I went walking and I saw an elephant eating trees.  When all the trees were gone it started eating people!  I was so scared, I ran six miles to get home where I could be safe from the elephant!"

Procedure:
1. I will first tell the children what we will be doing today.  "Today we are going to exercise expression when we read."  Before we begin exercising expression, the students will be taught how to cross check.  "If you come to a word that you do not know, read the rest of the sentence and see if it gives you any clues about the word you do not know."  I will also remind them of the cover-up method.

2. "Is everyone ready to read with a little expression?  When a reader reads with expression, he makes the story that he is reading more exciting and more interesting."  I will tell the children what when expression is being exercised, the reader might be reading faster, slower, louder, or even very quietly.  "Let's all start exercising some expression!"

3. Begin by asking the children if they think that how someone reads a story makes a
     difference in how well you enjoy it. Stories are very enjoyable if you know how to use
     expression. Do you know what tells you what expression to make? The punctuation
     marks. Write on chalkboard the punctuation marks and tell the children what they tell
     you to do.

4. I will now read the book, No, David!  I will read a few pages as if there were no punctuation in the book.  I will use no expression.  I will stop after a few pages and see if students are enjoying the book.  I will then continue reading the book but this time with expression and see what kind of reaction the children have.  "Did anyone notice a difference in the way I read this time?  I used expression, which made the book a lot more exciting!"  I will finish reading the book and I will ask the children to name some of the parts that I read with expression.  I will write them on the chalk board.

5. Next I will call on children to read the age appropriate short story that is   written on the chalkboard (made up by teacher) without using expression. Assign the children to a partner and have them take each sentence and write on their paper what expression needs to be added to make the story correct.

6.  Have the partners come to the front of the class to read their sentences with expression.

7. For assessment, the children will individually read a short book to me throughout the day. I will use a checklist of how well they used expression when they read.

References
Lindsay Mosely www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/breakthroughs/moselygf.html

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