Kristin Rice
Growing independence and fluency

Expressions are everywhere!

Rationale:  For children to be successful at reading as well as enjoy it, they need to be able to read very fluently and smooth with expression.  The goal of this lesson is to help children practice reading with expression by using their voices in different ways.  By helping children read expressively, they will be able to enjoy reading more.

Materials:  a short passage to read to the class such as, ãTwinkle, Twinkle Little Starä or another decodable book with expression, chalk, chalkboard, ãExpressionä box, sentence strips that have sentences that can be read with different expressions in the expression box.  An example would be, ãGuess what happenedä.  Age appropriate books, 4 index cards for each student, crayons, age appropriate paper, and pencils.

1. I will begin the lesson by saying, ãHave a good dayä, in different expressions by changing the tone of my voice.  I will say this happy, sad, monotone, and angry.  After I have said the sentence four times in different expressions, I will ask the students how they thought I felt each time I said the sentence.  ãSometimes we are happy, sad, and even angry.  Well, authors give their characters expressions of sadness, happiness, and even allow their characters to be angry.  By doing this, the authors make the stories we read more enjoyable and exciting.  Today we are going to practice reading with expression.ä
2. I will read a short passage to them that they will follow along silently (from the chalkboard).  I will read the entire passage of ãTwinkle, Twinkle Little Starä with the appropriate expression for each part of the passage.  I will allow my voice to go high and low, show that I am pondering something, or show that I am excited.  We will then discuss the different expressions I used while I read the passage.
3. We will then make a list of the different expressions we can make with our voices on the board.  Once we have listed the expressions, the students will get their four index cards and crayons, and they draw one expression per card.  One index card can be smiling face for happy/excited, another for can be a sad face for sadness, another for anger, and the last one for blank/monotone expression.
4. Each child will then choose a sentence out of the ãExpressionä box.  The children will take turns reading their sentences out loud with expression. This is for practice before they read a book.  "If you don't know a word, remember to use cover ups".
5. Next, the children will choose an age appropriate book from the pile of books I have pre-chosen.  They will return to their seats and read silently.  Once they are finished reading silently, they will choose one sentence they want to read to the class with a lot of expression.  The students will then write the sentence on their age appropriate paper.
6. After all of the students are finished reading and writing their sentences, they will come to the carpet with their sheet of paper with the sentence on it, and their four index cards with expressions.
7. Model to the students what they will be using their index cards for.  The teacher will read a sentence with a particular expression.  Next, tell the students to hold up the index card that has the appropriate expression on it.  Then, tell them that each of them will read the sentence they wrote down with expression.  The class will hold up their index cards according to the expression they thought their classmate was using.
8. For assessment, each child will read his or her sentence chosen from his or her book.  The class will vote on which expression they thought their classmate was trying to portray by holding up the appropriate index card.  The teacher will take note of which children are understanding the concept of expression and which students are not.  The teacher will also praise the students whether they grasp the concept or not.

References:  Adams, Marilyn.  Beginning to Read.  1990 (pg. 56).  Murray, Bruce ed. (2000), Lesson Designs ãExpress Yourselfä by:  Shea Fant

Click here to return to Illuminations