Express Yourself!
Liesa Viruleg
Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  It is important for children to learn to read fluently and expressively.  When children learn to read with expression, they become more confident readers.  This lesson will help children learn to read with expression through using whole texts.

Materials:  chalk, chalkboard, one copy of The Gingerbread Man retold by Jim Aylesworth and ublished by Scholastic 1998, enough age-appropriate books for each child in the class (must be books that can be read with expression), and one sheet of paper for each child

1) Tell the children that there are many things that we can do to become better readers.  “One of these things is to read with expression.  Can anyone tell me what expression means?  That’s right! It means making the way we read more interesting for the people who are listening to us.  We can do this by changing how loud or soft our voice is, by changing how fast we read, or by changing the pitch of our voice. Today we are going to practice these different ways of expressing our reading.
2) Ask the children:  Has anyone ever heard someone read a story that was exciting because of the way they used expressions?  Explain that stories are more exciting when expressions are used.
3) Then take out The Gingerbread Man, and model reading to the children without using expression.  Was the story exciting?  How can I make it sound better?  Let’s make a list on the board of some expressions I could use to make the story more exciting.
4) After completing the list, reread The Gingerbread Man modeling the expressions on the board.  Ask the children:  Which story was more exciting?
5) Next, divide the children into pairs.  Give each group a different age appropriate book.  Say:  I want each person in the group to read the book I handed you to your partner without using expressions.  When you are finished reading make a list of different expressions you should use while reading the book.  Then, both of you need to reread the book using the expressions on the list. Remind them if they are having trouble decoding a word that they can cover up part of it and sound it out then cover up the other part of it and sound it.
6) When the groups are all finished, I will have each one come up to the front of the class to read their book using expressions.  Then they should show the class the list of expressions they made.  “Everyone did a great job reading with expressions.”
7) For assessment, each child will choose an age-appropriate book that they want to read.  They will read it and then make a list of expressions (like we did before).  When they finish, each child will come up to the teachers desk at different times to read their book with expression.  The teacher can then determine if each child is understanding the reading with expression lessonby using a checklist for assessment that specifies: No Expression   Some Expression   Great Expression.

Reference:  Marilyn Adams, Beginning to Read; 1990 pp90-92

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