Meagan Strider
Design #3, Growing Independence and Fluency

Show Some Emotion!

Rationale: The speed in which one reads and the way one reads may distract the reader from the text's meaning, such as if one was a "word-by-word reader".  It is important that children learn to read fluently with expression to ensure good reading comprehension.  This lesson involves the children learning to read with expression with meaningful, connected text.  This will be accomplished through dyad reading and retelling of stories.

Materials: copies of The Ghost and the Sausage, (Shortland Publications Limited, 1982) for every student; rubric for evaluating use of expression and fluency while reading (attached to back)

Procedure: 1) Begin by telling students that the way we read things sometimes changes its meaning.  If we add a little expression to the way we say things, the person who is reading or listening to the story being told might be able to understand what is going on.  It would be like you were trying to make it as though the person reading or listening was actually there, hearing the characters in the story say things, like how you are in a conversation with one of your friends.  You wouldn't walk up to one of your friends and say "Tomorrow is my birthday" (in monotone voice).  You would say it much more excited (say again, but with emphasis).

2) Review some of the correspondences that have been covered.  Write some words with the correspondences i_e = /I/, ay = /A/, ee = /E/, and u_e = /U/.  Example words might be ride, play, flee, gray, bite, rule, and cube.  Call out a correspondence and have students tell the teacher which word has that correspondence in it.  Say: Which word has an /I/ sound in it?  What lets you know that that word makes an /I/ sound?

2) Read a line from The Ghost and the Sausage.  "You can't sleep here," said the man.  "A ghost comes down the chimney every night."  Say it one time with a monotone voice, very dull, bland, and choppy.  Ask children if that sounded like how someone who had a ghost in their chimney might say that.  Read the line again, but this time with emphasis, like I was frightened and wanted to get away.  Ask the students if that made more sense that time.

3) Have a list already made out of students to be paired up with one another to read the text.  Normally the students choose their own reading buddy, but doing it this way provides scaffolding because each pair will be on differing reading levels.  The goal is for one student to exhibit some modeling skills to the other student on how to read expressively and fluently.  The list would be determined by prior reading assessments done on each child and their current reading group.  Give every student a copy of The Ghost and the Sausage.  They will each read through the text once to each other.

4) Instruct each pair of students to find another pair of students to be in a group with.  After they have decided, ask each group to discuss and decide among themselves who wants to be which character from the book because we are going to act out the story in each of our groups.  Explain that we can read with expression, and we can also act out books with the same expressions that we say them sometimes.  Let children practice acting out the text using their book.  After they are finished practicing, have everyone take their places within their groups.  That character within each group will act it out at the same time.  Observe each group's way of acting out their parts and also their use of expression.  The purpose of this activity is that they are using expression with words from the text through acting them out.  Walk around and observe each group and use the rubric for reading fluency and expression to assess.

5) The assessment procedure for each individual student is in the rubric for reading fluently and expressively (as shown below).

References: Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall,                       1995: New Jersey.  Page 122.
                  Melser, June.  The Ghost and the Sausage.  Shortland Publications Limited, 1982: New          Zealand.

Rubric for Use of Fluency and Expression

Name: __________________________
Reads smoothly, not "word-by-word"
Uses expression in appropriate places
Uses expression appropriately according to context
Appears to decode words quickly; if any, had trouble with these correspondences:


Seems to understand the concept of reading expressively
Appears to act on the other student's reading behaviors (i.e. decoding strategies, pace of reading, etc.)

Anecdotal records during observations:

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