Happy Birthday or
and Fluency Design
fluency is the ability to read faster, smoother, and
with more expression. In order for students to become fluent readers,
“read and reread decodable words in connected text.” Reading
with expression includes changing pitch and tone of the voice to better
text. Reading with
creates more interest and wonder in the story children are reading. As
teachers, we want reading to be enjoyable for students so they will
hence becoming more fluent readers. We as teachers should model reading
expression to students so when they read independently, they too, will
read with expression. This lesson focuses on students reading and
decodable books so they can learn to read with expression. The students
this by playing different parts in the story.
The Birthday Cake: a play, Joy
Cowley. Shortland Productions
Ziploc bag with
animals names in it (dog, cat, pig, and cow)
assessment with following questions on it
Does this child read smoothly?
Does this child show facial
Does this child show voice change?
Does this child seem to have an overall understanding of
- Good morning students.
Today we are going to work on something called expression. Does anybody
know what expression is? (Allow a few students to offer
information if they know). The dictionary tells us that an
expression is “A facial aspect or a look that conveys a special
feeling”. This means that when you say something with expression, you
have feelings to go along with what you are saying.
- I’m going to say two
phrases and I want you to tell me, which one makes more sense to you.
Ready? Happy Birthday (say it with a huge smile, higher pitch,
bright eyes) Happy Birthday (say it the second time with a
frown, low voice, kind of deep tone, don’t even look at students). Students
which “happy birthday” would you believe that I truly meant it, the
first time or the second time? Which one would you rather hear on your
birthday? Very good! The first time was better because I said it with
more expression and you believed me.
- Well expression also
plays a huge part in reading. If I were to read to you this sentence
with a frown on my face and kind of quiet: “Jim came to the edge of the
cliff to look off and the rocks started to slide out from under his
feet”, you might not be very interested. But if I read it to you like
this “Jim came to the edge of the cliff to look off and the rocks
started to slide out from under his feet” (show expression by
opening your eyes real big like something is about to happen, speak
words slower with anticipation) then you might get anxious to find
out what happens and read the rest of the story right? Today we are
going to work on expression as we all read.
- Today we are all going to
have a special part in the story that we read. First of all, I want you
to all read the story silently to yourself. Then we will split up into
small groups and I will assign each of you an animal to be. In the
small group, I want you to read the part of the animal that I assigned
you. (Pass out the book The Birthday Cake to each student
as you are giving instructions). Ask students what makes good actors
and actresses in a play. Be sure they understand that actors and
actresses have good expressions.
students time to read the story silently. When students start to finish
up waiting on others, encourage them to reread the story and explain to
them how rereading helps us to read the story better next time, more
smoothly and quickly.
- Have a bag
with each animals name written on it, in the bag. Go to each table and
allow each student to draw the animal out that they will be. Students
will then take turns in their group reading the story. Encourage
students to read with expression and to help each other with the
expressions if they get stuck. Monitor the students to see how quickly
they are reading the story. When students begin to get through, have
them make a list on a sheet of paper the characteristics that make
expression important and the difference it makes.
- Be sure to
walk from group to group monitoring their reading and listening to each
child. Create a checklist to assess each child as you hear them read,
possible questions you might include are:
- Does this
child read smoothly?
- Does this
child show facial expression?
- Does this
child show voice change?
- Does this
child seem to have an overall understanding of expression?
- Hill, Tamara “Calling All Actors and Actresses!”
The Birthday Cake: a play,
Joy Cowley. Shortland Productions
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