Ridey Foster

Say It Like You Mean It!

Growing Independence and Fluency Design




 Students need to learn the importance of reading with expression, it makes everything more interesting, meaning, and enjoyable. It is also a very important part of becoming a more fluent reader. Skillful readers should learn to read with expression while reading silently or aloud. The goal of this lesson design is to provide practice in reading with expression.



 strips with sentences on them

 book The Lizard Man of Crabtree County by Lucy Nolan

dry erase board


guide line check lists



1. Ask the children if they know what expression is, call on a few students to share their ideas with the whole group. If they don’t get it, then I will explain to them that expression means reading a story in the same way we talk, with flow. We show people how we feel with not only the words we use when talking to them but by using different sounds and tones in our voice. Ask the students to share different expressions and list them on the board. As we read our book today I want you to listen for expression in my voice to decide what kind of mood the character is in.


2.  Please listen carefully as I read some sentences to you from cards that are on the chart. When I have finished reading the sentence I want you to tell me what kind of mood I was in and what type of feeling was I expressing. I will be reading some sentences twice and some just once. 

* Read “Wow, I was just there. The Lizard Man could have just eaten me!”shock and   excitement. 

* Read “Look what you did you scared him away” anger.

* Read “No fair! I want to hear the Lizard Man.” disappointment.

* Read “He waited all say, but the Lizard Man never came.” frustration and boredom.

 I will call on different students to tell me what mood I am reading in. We will discuss how the mood changes the message of the words and sentences.


3. Those where blurbs from the book The Lizard Man of Crabtree County, by Lucy Nolan, I am now going to read the entire book to you. I will first read the book to the class with out using expression and then read the book a second time with expression. I will have them tell me which version of the story they enjoyed more and why. We will also discuss the different emotions that the characters felt and expressed throughout the story. I will make a list of them on the dry erase board.


4. The students will get into pairs, each student will write a sentence on a sentence strip. The students will swap sentences and read them a few times to themselves, allowing them to get comfortable with the words in the sentence. Once they feel confident they will read the sentence to their partner once with out expression. Then they will read it again conveying an expression of their choice. It is up to the partner to be a good listener and figure out what mood/feelings his partner is conveying. Once they have both had time to share their sentences I will ask for a few volunteers to read their sentence to the class.


5. I will assess them using a checklist as they read aloud. This checklist will include the following; tone changes, voice fluctuations, and pitch changes. The students will receive a “check” for each criteria met or an “x” if they didn’t meet a certain criteria.



Nolan, Lucy. The Lizard Man of Crabtree County.Marshall Cavendish, New York.(1999)


 Melissa Roddam, Express Yourself!


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