Just Imagine Where You Will Go

Growing Independence and Fluency
Tammy Feely

Rationale:    When children first learn how to read, their sentences are detached and choppy.  Teaching children how to read with fluency will take much practice, but the mastery brings great rewards.  Being able to read smoother, faster, and with expression will help readers enjoy the text more.  Fluency brings to readers greater automatcity and most importantly, comprehension.  In this lesson, children will learn how to read with expression, which will help make their reading more exciting.  They will enjoy reading more, and they will attract an audience with their strong, expressive qualities in reading.  This lesson is designed to help children become more expressive readers.

Dry erase board
Marker for dry erase board
Copies of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
Random House, 1990.  (one per student)
Blank tapes (one per student)
Tape recorder (one for every pair)
Smiley Face Evaluation (Odd Page) (one per student)
Smiley Face Evaluation (
Even Page) (one per student)
I Think Sheet (one per student)
Sendak’s, Maurice.  Where the Wild Things Are.  Harper Collins Publishers, 1962. (one per pair)
Suess.  Green Eggs and Ham.  Random House, 1983. (one per pair)
Viorst, Judith.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Good Day.  Aladdin Paperbacks, 1972.  (one per pair)

1.  Introduce the lesson by reviewing what we have previously learned about fluency:  cross-checking.  SAY:  “Class, I want to congratulate you on the hard work that you have put in thus far to become a more fluent reader.  I want to ask you a few questions about what we have learned so far.  I am going to read a few sentences.  I will display them on the projector, and I want you to silently read along with me.  After I finish reading, I want you to quietly raise your hand and tell me what I did wrong.”  
2.  Display these sentences on the projector. ‘After work, Sally went to the mall.  She needed to buy a pair of jeans.  To her great surprise, as she walked in the door of Dillard’s, she saw Jane, her best friend.’
    -Read it to the class slowly and clearly, with NO expression. Instead of saying the word pair, pronounce it as 'par' /p/ /a/ /r/.   Ponder on the word for a few moments, do not self-correct, leave it as /p/ /a/ /r/, and continue to read.  It will be read in this format:  
 ‘After work, Sally went to the mall.  She needed to buy a /p/ /a/ /r/ of jeans.  To her great surprise, as she walked in the door of Dillard’s, she saw Jane, her best friend.’
3.  After reading the paragraph, look up at your class and ask what went wrong.  SAY:  “Class, what did you notice was wrong with the way I read the sentence?”  (Call on a student for a response.  They should say something along the lines of:  “You said, ‘par’ instead of ‘pair’”
4.  Ask the students what you should have done instead.  SAY:  “Class, instead of continuing on with the wrong word, I didn’t cross-check, so my sentences seemed a little weird.  Instead of continuing on, I should have pondered on the word for a second, and then finished reading the sentence.  I then would have gone back to see if I could figure out the correct word from my context clues.  I would try a new word, (the correct word)  pair, see if it makes sense, and double-check my work by re-reading the sentence.”  
5.  SAY:  “You guys did awesome with pointing out cross-checking.  Now, you might have noticed that when I was reading, I sounded kind of dull and boring.  Today, I want to teach you how to read with expression.  Can someone tell me what expression is?”
6.  Write student’s responses of what they think expression is on the board (emotions:  happy, sad, angry, jealous, excited, etc.)  SAY:  “Great job!  So we all agree that expression is a way of sharing how you feel, and when we read, we have to do that by the tone of our voice.  We use expressions every day.  Can someone give me some examples?”
7.  Write student’s responses on the board:  (the way we act, the words we choose to use, the way we say things, if we are happy, sad, angry, excited, etc.)
8.  Explain to the students that when words are written down, they are a form of expression.  SAY:  “Whenever you read a book or story, those words are coming from someone else’s thoughts.  When we read the words, it is important that we try our best to read those thoughts the way they would have been told to us.  That is why it is important to use expression.  Expression will help us to better understand what the characters are going through in our stories, and what the author wants us to know.”  
9.  Write these sentences on separate lines on the board:
-   It’s my birthday today!
-   OH NO!  My birthday cake fell on the ground.
10.  SAY:  "Alright, in front of us are a few sentences.  Let me read them to you without any expression in my voice.  'It’s my birthday today!  Oh no!  My birthday cake fell on the ground!'”
11.  SAY: “Boys and girls, how boring did that sound to you?  I read that sentence with no expression at all.  If it was your birthday, how would you be acting?”  (Wait and call on students for different responses.)  SAY:  “That’s right; you would be excited and eager to celebrate!  So how would YOU have read that sentence?  Can I have a volunteer?” (Call on a volunteer to read the sentence.)
12.  SAY:  "Great job!  I liked how you were very expressive with your voice."
13.  SAY:  “Boys and girls, let’s move on to the second and third sentence.  How would you react if your birthday cake fell on the ground?  Would you be very dull and say, ‘Oh no!  My birthday cake fell on the ground?’ Or would you be very sad and stressed because your birthday cake fell on the ground?”
14.  Model how to say the second and third sentences:  “So we should say the second and third sentences like this (use a lot of expression):  'OH NO!  My birthday cake fell on the ground!'”
15.  Explain to them how important it is to use expression when you read, because it makes the sentences come alive.  Write on the board:  This was the worst day of my entire life!  SAY:  “Boys and girls let me read this sentence to you in two different forms."  (Read the sentence once monotone, and a second time with expression.)  "Which way sounded the way you would say it as if the words were coming from your voice, expressing your own emotions?  Exactly, you would say it with much expression.”  
16.  SAY:  “This is why it is so important that when we read, we must read with lots of expression in our voice.  Doing so will help us to better understand what the author is trying to tell us.  Reading with expression is like performing in a play.  We would rather listen to someone with expression than someone who is solemn, or straight sounding."
17.  Write this sentence on the board:  It was a spooky night and Jen was very scared!  SAY:  “As a class, we are going to read this sentence with tons of expression!  Are you ready?  It was a spooky night and Jen was very scared!  Great job class!  I could tell that all of you were scared and read the sentence with great horror in your voice!"
18.  Pass out one copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss to every child.  Put the children in groups of two.
19.  SAY:  “Boys and girls, I want you to get with your partner and pick one person who will read the odd pages, and one person who will read the even pages.  We are going to be reading aloud to each other.  If it’s not your turn to read, I want you to silently read along with your partner.  After they have finished reading their page, take this sheet of paper that I am passing out to you (Smiley Face Evaluation), and rate them.  Place a check under the big smile category if they read with lots of expression. Place a check on the straight face if they did an OK job – maybe they started off well but slowed their expression down towards the end.  Place a check on the sad face category if they did not do as well as they could.  Read the whole book and when you are done, give your partner their evaluation page.  Remember to evaluate them for EVERY PAGE RIGHT AFTER THEY READ!  If you get stuck on a word, don’t forget to use our cross-checking strategy!  Alright, any questions?  Great!  Begin!”
20.  Walk around the room to see if any children need help.  Observe their reading habits.
21.  When the children have finished, make sure that they have exchanged smiley sheets.
22.  SAY:  “Alright boys and girls, let’s take a look at our peer evaluation sheets.  Do you agree with your partner?  Do you think they graded you fairly?  Well, now that you have had some time to practice, I have an idea.  Get a short story of your choice, (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, Green Eggs and Ham, Where the Wild Things Are), one that you really enjoy reading, and we are going to tape record it.  When you are finished recording, I want you to rewind the tape and listen to yourself.  Do an overall evaluation of yourself for the story.  If you think you used expression really well, then give yourself a big smiley face.  If you think you used expression some of the time, but not as much as you could, then give yourself an OK face.  Or, if you think that you did not do a good job using expression, then give yourself a frowny face.  Our classroom goal is for everybody to get big smiley faces.  When you are finished, I want you to hand in your tapes to me, and I am going to listen to them.  I hope to give everyone a big smiley face on their tape recordings, so let’s all use great expression!"
23.  For assessment:  Take up the tape recordings, and listen to them.  Also, take up their peer and personal evaluation sheets.  After listening to the tapes, review the sheets and see if you give them the same “grade” (smiley face) as they gave themselves.  


Kendrick, Lauren.  It’s All about Expression.  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/innov/kendrickgf.html

Sendak’s, Maurice.  Where the Wild Things Are.  Harper Collins Publishers, 1962.

Suess.  Green Eggs and Ham.  Random House, 1983.

Suess.  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  Random House, 1990.
Viorst, Judith.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day.  Aladdin Paperbacks, 1972.

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Smiley Face Evaluation (Odd Page)

Name: ___________________________                   Book: _____________________________ 

Page:            BIG SMILE         STRAIGHT FACE         FROWNY FACE                                                              

1.                     ___                              ____                            ___

3.                     ___                              ____                            ___

5.                     ___                              ____                            ___

7.                     ___                              ____                            ___

9.                     ___                              ____                            ___

11.                   ___                              ____                            ___

13.                   ___                              ____                            ___

15.                   ___                              ____                            ___

17.                   ___                              ____                            ___

29.                   ___                              ____                            ___

21.                   ___                              ____                            ___

23.                   ___                              ____                            ___

Evaluator's Name:  _____________________________

Comments:  _______________________________________________


Smiley Face Evaluation (EVEN PAGE)

Name: ____________________________                Book: __________________________

Page:            BIG SMILE             STRAIGHT FACE     FROWNY FACE

2.                     ___                              ____                            ___

4.                     ___                              ____                            ___

6.                     ___                              ____                            ___

8.                     ___                              ____                            ___

10.                   ___                              ____                            ___

12.                   ___                              ____                            ___

14.                   ___                              ____                            ___

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18.                   ___                              ____                            ___

20.                   ___                              ____                            ___

22.                   ___                              ____                            ___

24.                   ___                              ____                            ___

Evaluator's Name:  ________________________________
Comments:  _____________________________________________________


                                                        I THINK SHEET


Name:  _____________________                                          Book:  ____________________

Overall Evaluation:            BIG SMILE       STRAIGHT FACE                  FROWNY FACE


I think I deserve a ___________ face because ________________________________________

I can improve my expression during my reading by ______________________________________

My teacher gives me a ____________ face  because______________________________________