Exciting Expressions

Rachel Owens

Rationale: Students need to know how to read fluently. With fluency comes expression and emotion in reading. When students practice reading and decoding words they will become better readers.

Materials: a list of 10-12 words for students to decode ex.: (get, tent, map)

                   The book Pat’s Jam, one for every two students



1. “Today we are going to be working on reading fast and smooth. We need to be able to read the words correctly, and we also need to be able to read with expression. Does everyone know what expression means? (a facial or vocal tone or accent) We are can make an expression with our face, a sad or happy face, or with our voices, loud or soft. That is what we are going to work on, making different expressions when we read. We are going to have to find out what the mood, or feeling, of the story is, so we can have the right expression.”

2. “We are going to do this together. Let’s all say the word, “get”. Let’s breakdown each sound we hear in the word-ggggeeetttt. Now you will do this with a partner. One of you will say the word and the other will check. Switch out with each word.” Give each pair of students the 10-12 words to read.

3. After they finish this, explain that reading each word like that will take a long time to finish a book. Model reading with the sounds and then fluent reading. Choose a sentence from the story, Pat’s Jam, “Pat is a rat”. Sound or slow reading-“Pppaaattt iiss aa rrraatt.” “And fluent reading would sound like, ‘Pat is a rat.’” “To begin reading fluently we need practice. Remember ‘practice makes perfect’, and we all want to be ‘perfect’ readers. We need to be able to recognize the words quickly to be able to read quickly, so we are going to practice with our partners. As you read with your partner, you will notice changes in the way you read. I want you to read a page twice, and then switch with your partner. Try reading with some expression once you have read the sentence twice. I want each of you to read the story at least twice. If you have extra time after reading it twice, then you can read it again!”

4. Introduce the story Pat’s Jam to the students. “This book is about a rat named Pat that is going grocery shopping. Pat meets up with Pam, his friend, and they go shopping, but when they get in the van to go home, there is no gas! What are they going to do? Lets read and find out.” Make sure to explain the book with lots of expression and encourage students to see how much emotion they can read with.

Assessment: Have students read the story aloud to you. Do a running record and note miscues and missing correspondences. Also, timing may help you to see how quickly or slowly they are reading. Check for fluency and expression in their reading. 

Pat’s Jam (Educational Insights)                                                                                                       
Jeremy Knowles, “Ready, Set, READ!” at
Catherine Moore, “The Fast and the Fluent” at http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/mooregf.html         
Murray, Bruce. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/
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