“Show me how you feel!” 

Expressive reading design plan
Marie Nicol

 Learning to read with expression is a very important part of becoming a skilled and fluent reader.  Reading with expression can help to enhance the reading experience.  Reading with expression can mean changing your voices pitch, volume, speed or tone.
This lesson will focus on teaching kids the importance of and how to read with expression.  They will learn this by watching a model of fluent reading and then practicing expressive reading by doing repeated readings.

Materials: The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss (enough copies for each child to have one),  cards with different feelings on them (happy, sad, angry, loud, soft, scared, surprised).  “Measure my expression”  evaluation sheets (one for each student, attached)

1. “First I would like us to review how to read big, long words that we don’t know.  Does everyone remember how to use word chunks to break down long words?”  Do a short review of how to break down long words into word chunks that they already know.  Use the following words and ask the class how they would break them up: unbelievable (un-be-liev-able), remember (re-mem-ber), consolidate (con-sol-i-date).
2. “Today we are going to learn how to read with expression, can anyone tell me what I mean when I say ‘read with expression’?  It is important to read with expression because it makes the story much more interesting and makes it more fun to listen to.  You can express how a character feels by the way you read what they say and by using different expressions. Can anyone think of any other reasons reading expressively might be important?  (to show different characters, so you know what’s happening in the story)” I am going to read part of “The Cat in the Hat” two different ways.  Ya’ll tell me which way is with expression and which one you would rather listen to”.  Read The Cat in the Hat with a monotone voice, then read it expressively changing your voice when different characters are speaking.  Question the students on which they liked better.
3. Pass out copies of The Cat in the Hat to students and put them in pairs.  Also, pass out evaluation sheets.  Tell the students that they are going to take turns reading The Cat in the Hat to each other.  One partner will read the first half of the book and the other partner will read the second half.  They will read it a total of three times trying to improve their expression each time.  Make sure they know that they need to read the same part each time so that they can lots of practice reading the same thing over and over again.  The other partner will evaluate them each time they read.  Remind them to use their voice to portray the way the character feels, mad, excited, surprised, happy, sad etc…)  “I really want ya’ll to show me how the characters feel”

 For assessment I will walk around the room and listen to all the students reading and make notes.  I will also assess them by bringing the class back together after everyone is done.  “We are going to play a game to practice reading expressively”  Take turns with the group who read the first half and the group who read the second half.  Tell them to turn to a page and then show them one of the expression cards and have them read together, out loud with that expression.

1. www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/crowgf.html- “Expression equals enjoyment” by Meg Crow
2. www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/kstarrgf.html- “Come with me to read expressively” by Kelly Starr

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