Tell Me About Your Day
Growing Independence and Fluency
Jan Patterson

In order to gain accuracy and speed in reading, students must become fluent.  This comes with practice.  Also with practice in reading comes expression.  This not only makes a story more interesting to hear, but it also makes it more interesting to read.  In this lesson, students will buddy read to practice expression with exaggeration.

Class set of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, student journals, pencils, cover up cards to help with decoding, check list for assessment (including content of journal writing, tone of voice when reading, accuracy when reading, attention given to partner)

1. We have learned how to read all kinds of words and we have practiced reading these words.  Today, we are going to practice reading words all together in a story.  But what will make today different is that we will read with expression!  Does anyone know what that means or can someone give me an example of reading with expression?

2. Good!  Reading with expression means that you give details of the story with your voice and your body movements.  What would you think if I read this to you (with no expression-monotone): ãIt is Friday.  My best friend gets to spend the night at my house tonight.  We will get to eat pizza and candy all night.ä  What if I read it this way (with much inflection): ãIt is Friday!  My best friend gets to spend the night at my house tonight!  We will get to eat pizza and candy all night!ä  What was different about the second time I read it to you?

3. Today, we are going to read a book about a very bad day.  Our character's name is Alexander.  He gets very upset when things don't go his way.  When I pass out your books, I want you to get with your reading buddy and read silently through the book.  When you are reading silently, think about how you would read this with expression.  Write your thoughts in your journal.

4.  When you complete this, you and your reading buddy will read the book to each other with expression!  Read all the way through the story.  We will practice using cover up cards to help us identify words that we don't already know.  If you come to a word that your don't know, cover it up.  You should uncover the word letter by letter, sounding out the letters as you go.  At the end of the word, put all the sounds together to say the word.  If you cannot get it, raise your hand and I will help you.

5. When you have both finished reading to each other, continue your journal entry, explaining what happened during Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  The assessment will come in the way reading the journals to examine how they would express the reading, as well as examining their comprehension of the contents of the story.


Viorst, Judith.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.   Anthenum Books, 1972.

York, Lindsay.  "Hop on the Express Train to Read Expressively!"

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