"Express Yourself!"


Growing Independence and Fluency

Summer Patterson



Reading with expression is very important for children to be able to do.  Being able to read with expression is 1 of the 5 components of reading fluency.  When children read with expression they are able to gain a better understanding of the material they are reading.  Reading with expression involves changing the speed, volume, or pitch in your voice.  In this lesson children will listen as I first model how to read expressively and fluently.  Then they will get to practice reading with expression with a partner.





Book: Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

Decodable books for children




1.)     Introduction:  "Today we are going to practice reading with expression.  When we read with expression it makes our story much more entertaining.  Reading with expression not only keeps the story from being boring and dull but, it also helps us to understand the story easier."

2.)     Practice:  "Expression is a way that we change our voices to make our reading more exciting.  One way we do this is by looking at the different characters for ex.  If the character speaking was a man we would use a deep voice.  We can also change the speed of our reading when something exciting would be about to happen and slow down when something sad is going to happen."

3.)      "Now I am going to read a story.  The name of the story I am going to read is Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?   As I read the story I want you to listen to how my voice changes.  I am going to read the story twice and let you tell me which one sounds better."  (Teacher can read only a few pages if she wants.  Read first with a dull voice and then with expression.)

4.)     (Teacher reads second time with expression.  After you finish reading ask children which time they liked better that you read and why.)  "Which time that I read the story did you like better?  That's right the second time!  Can anyone tell me why?  That's right because I used expression the second time.  Very Good! "

5.)     "Now we are going to do a partner activity so I will divide you up into groups of two's.  Once you get your partner I want you to pick out one of the decodable text that we have read with your partner.  I want you to practice reading the book with expression.  While you read your partner will write down ideas of different ways you could use expression in the story.  Then you will do the same for your partner.  These ideas will be used to help improve your partners and your reading with expression.  Once you both have read you will reread the story using these ideas that you and your partner have come up with to read with more expression.

6.)     (Have each group come up to the front and read their book) "I want everyone to listen to their classmates when they read."  (I will have the other children point out some really good expression parts of the story that the group read.)  Everyone did great today!  Now you can see how much fun reading with expression can be and how much more exciting and interesting the story becomes!"

7.)     Assessment:  I will ask the children to pick another book and make a list of suggestions for expression.  Then I will have the children come up to my desk one at a time.  I will look at their list and ask them to read their book using the expression they listed.  This will allow me to see how well they understand reading with expression.  I will have an observation checklist to go along with this assessment.


References:  Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?  by Bonnie Lass and Philemon Sturges; Published by Scholastic Inc.


www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/knightgf.html (Loving to read while learning to express by Sara Knight)