I will huff and puff and blow your house down!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Nicole Huff

Rationale:       For children to become better readers they must learn to read fluently.  Being able to read with fluency is having the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically.  Five components to fluent reading include reading faster, reading with expression, reading smoothly, reading silently and being able to read voluntarily.  I am going to focus on being able to read with expression.  I will incorporate modeling and practice with partners in this lesson.

Materials:      Chalkboard, Chalk, The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell and Jim Harris, other decodable books where expression can be used for the children to use in their small groups.

Today we are going to work on being able to read with expression.  Reading with expression helps are characters come alive and it makes the story more interesting.  It is important to read with expression because it helps you to understand and enjoy what you are reading.

2.         Does anyone know what expression is? Very good, it means being able to make the way we read more interesting for the people listening to us.  Some examples of this are reading with a happy voice is the character is happy or reading with a mad voice if the character is mad and reading soft or loud. 

3.         I am going to read you all The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell.  (Read a couple of pages from the book without any expression)  Were those pages I just read to you exciting? No!? Why was it not exciting? Right, it was boring. How do you think that I could make this book exciting? (List all the children’s answers on the board for them to see and visualize).

4.         Okay so now I am going to take you advice and use your ideas to read with expression and make this story more exciting. (Read the whole story this time with lots of expression, using pitch, tone and facial movement)  Which version of the story did you like better and why? What were some of the suggestions that I used?

5.         (Place children into small groups or with partners).  Now I am going to give each of you a book and I want you all to read the book out loud with out using any expression at all.  If you come across a word that you have trouble with remember that you can use cover-ups to figure the word out and you can always ask the other people in your group for help.  When each person has read the book I want you all to make a list together of the different ways you could use expression throughout the story.  Remember to use expression you can sound mad, or happy, talk loud or soft, have a weird voice and sound like what you think your character would sound like if they were sitting right next to you! When you all have finished with your lists I want you to then reread the books with lots of expression. Okay? Alright. (I will go around the classroom taking notes and offering suggestions when needed to note their progress).

6.         (When each group finished practicing and reading to each other I will then ask the groups to come to the front of the class to read their book using expression.)  Everyone will have to listen quietly so that you can hear all the expressions that your classmates use while reading their characters. (When they have finished I will then ask them to share their list of expressions with the rest of the class) Thank you all very much that was a wonderful job and the story was very exciting!

7.         For assessment of the children’s progress using expression I will ask each individual child to choose a book from the stack of age appropriate books that I have available and make a list of expressions that could be used in the story.  When they have completed the list I will then ask then individually to come up to my desk and read me their story using expression.  This will enable me to give assistance when needed and let me know if a child is understanding the concept of reading with expression or not.


Elderedge, J. Lloyd. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Brigham Young University. Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Pgs 151-179.

 Lowell, Susan. (1992). The Three Little Javelinas. Reed Business Information, Inc. Northland Publishing.

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