Rationale: In order for children to become better readers, they must learn to read fluently. This involves reading smoothly, expressively, silently, and speed-reading. This lesson focuses on children learning to read with expression. Children will become aware of how their expression, loudness/softness of voice, and other factors affect their reading.
Materials: Chalk, chalkboard, copy of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka, a variety of decodable texts that are at the studentâs various abilities in the class for them to use when they are buddy reading, and at least two copies of the same book for each individual group; these texts should have parts that the student can read with expression; paper and pencils.
1. The lesson starts by the teacher telling the students that it is a great thing to be able to read books, and once we have learned how to read, there are many things we can do to become better readers. One thing we can do is read with expression. ãDoes anyone know what expression is?ä (Students respond) ãThatâs right, it means making the way we read more fun and interesting for people who are listening to us. We can be expressive when we are reading by changing the loudness or softness of our voices, using a tone of voice, or changing the pace at which we are reading. If we were to change the pace, we would read either faster or slower. Today we are going to practice different ways of being expressive when we read. I hope you all will learn some ways to make your story telling more exciting.ä
2. The teacher will ask the students if they have ever heard anyone read a story to them with lots of expression? (Students will respond) Did that make the story better and more enjoyable to listen to? (Students respond) Well, if we were going to try to read a story with a lot of expression, what are some ways in which we could do that?ä The teacher will list responses on the board and leave them up there for the students to refer to later in the lesson. ãThose were all great answers. Now, when we read stories later in the lesson, I want you all to remember some of the things we have listed on the board, because to be an expressive reader we need to do some of these things when we read.ä
3. Students will gather around the teacher for a demonstration. ãNow boys and girls, I am going to read a part of the story from the book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.ä The teacher will give a brief book talk about the book. ãI bet most of you, if not all of you, have heard the story of the Three Little Pigs. Today I am going to read a selection from the book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. It is told from the perspective of the wolf in the story. That means that he is going to tell us his side of the story. His side of the story is very different, and you can make up your mind which version of the story you believe. I want you to listen closely as I read the selection. I am not going to read the whole book, just a small part, but I want you to pay close attention.ä This is a great book for you to read on your own time. I think all of you would enjoy reading this book.ä The teacher reads two pages from the book when the wolf is about to sneeze a great sneeze, but it is read without expression. ãSo I called, Little Pig, Little Pig, are you in?·Thatâs when my nose started to itch. I felt a sneeze coming on. Well I huffed. And I snuffed. And I sneezed a great sneeze.ä ãWas that exciting to listen to boys and girls? Did anyone think that I was expressive when I was reading that part?ä (Students respond.) ãSince we have all agreed that I didnât read that selection with a lot of expression and that made it kind of boring, who would like to tell me what I could have done differently to make that part of the story more interesting? (Students express ideas).ä ãThose are all great ideas, and now I am going to read the same part using some of your ideas that you have said. I want you to listen closely again.ä Teacher reads selection again, this time with expression. ãDidnât that sound so much better when I used expression in my voice?ä
4. ãNow everyone needs to get with their reading buddy, and find a place in the room to sit down in and be quiet while I pass out the books.ä Teacher hands out texts to the individual groups that are decodable and are close to their reading abilities. Make sure that each group has a different book and each person in the group has one copy. ãNow listen closely as I give the instructions. First, each of you will read the book silently to yourself so you can become familiar with the book. Then I want each person to read the story to his or her reading buddy one time. The first person will read the story without expression. After the first person has read, I want you both to come up with a list of how the story could have been read more expressively. Write down the sentences of the story that could be read with expression. After you have made your list, the second person will read the story using the ideas that you both came up with. The second person will read the story using lots of expression. Remember, if you have trouble reading, use cover-ups, say the vowel sound first and then blend the sounds together, or have your buddy help you.ä
5. For assessment, the teacher will have sentences already written out that the students will read using different forms of expression. The students will come up to the teacherâs desk one at a time and read various sentences using the designated forms of expression. For example, one sentence could be: ãMary and Billy ran up the hill as fast as they could trying to catch their rabbit that ran away.ä (Read this sentence using a fast tone.) ãSarah had been studying all night for her spelling test, and she was very tired.ä (Read this using a slow pace.) ãThe tornado was coming towards the house at a fast speed, and Rachelâs family had to hurry to the basement.ä (Read this sentence using your own choice of expression.) The students should show expression when reading the individual sentences.
Spurlock, Amy. ãExpress Your Readingä
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