Loving to Read While Learning to Express!

Sara Knight
Growing Toward Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  In order for children to become better readers they must learn to read fluently.  Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically.  There are five components to fluency and those include reading faster, reading with expression, reading smoother, reading silently, and reading voluntarily.  In this lesson, we will focus on reading more expressively.  The children will learn this concept by watching me model fluent and expressive reading and then by practicing reading with expression with a partner.

Materials: Chalk, chalkboard, The Three Little Pigs, age appropriate decodable books for each student in the class to use, paper for each child to write on, pencils.

1. Today we are going to work on reading with expression.  When we read with expression it adds to the story.  It is important to read with expression because it helps you understand and enjoy what you are reading.  Your audience will also enjoy listening to you more if you read expressively.

2. Can anyone tell me what expression is?  That is right, it means making the way we read more interesting for the people who are listening to us.  Some examples of reading with expression include: reading with a mad voice if the character is mad, reading with a happy voice if the character is happy, reading fast, or reading slow.

3. (I will model reading The Three Little Pigs to the class without using expression and tell the children to pay attention to how it sounds.)  Did the story sound exciting?  NO?! Why not?  How Can I make it more exciting?  (List children's answers on the board.)

4. Now I am going to reread this story and at the end I want you to tell me which version you liked better and why. What were some of the expressions that I used? (allow children to raise their hands and answer.)

5. (Group each child with one partner.)  I am going to give each group a book (age appropriate for each group).  I want each person to read the book out loud with out using expression.  If you come across a word that you have trouble with remember you can use cover-ups to figure the word that you do not know.  When each person has read the book I want you and your partner to make a list on a sheet of paper of expressions that you can use throughout the story.  When you and your partner have finished making the list I want each of you to reread the book using the expressions you have made on the list!

6. (When each group is finished I will ask them to come up to the front of the class to read their book to the class using expression.)  Everyone listen quietly so that you can hear the expressions your classmate is making while reading their book.  (When they have finished reading their book I will ask them to share their list of expressions they made with the class.)  Thank you for reading with expressions!  It made the story very interesting!

7. For assessment have a set of age appropriate books available for each child to read.  I will ask each child to choose a book to read and then make a list of expressions (like we did earlier in class).  When they have completed the book and list I will ask them to come read to me at my desk using their book and list of expressions.  This will also allow me to know if a child understands the concept of reading with expression.  If they need help I will be able to help them.

Reference: Elderedge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Brigham Young University.  Prentice Hall, New Jersey (1995).  Pg. 60-61.

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