Be Expressive!
Growing Independency and Fluency
Amanda Starnes

Rationale:  It is important for children to learn to develop reading fluency.  An important aspect of reading fluency is learning to read expressively.  Reading with expression involves changing the speed, volume or pitch of your voice.  It is important for children to learn to read with expression, because they gain a better understanding of the material that they are reading.  Through the use of this lesson, children will learn to read with expression.  The children will watch me model fluent and expressive reading, and then they will have an opportunity to practice expressive reading.

1. Tops and Bottoms
2. Amelia Bedelia by: Peggy Parish and Lynn Sweat  (enough copies for every child)
3. Evaluation Sheet

Evaluation Sheet
1. My partner’s voice changed as he/she read……. YES or No
2. My partner acted like he/she was enjoying reading………YES or No
3. The way that my partner read the book made me want to read it…….YES or NO
4. My partner sounded sad and happy in the same story……. YES or NO

1. “Class, please listen as I read the first page of the book called Tops and Bottoms.  I am going to read this page two times.  I want you all to listen for a difference in my reading.”  Read the page the first time in a monotone voice and then the second time read with expression.  “Which way did you like better?  You liked the second time better, because I was reading with a lot of expression in my voice.”
2. “Do any of you know what it means to read with expression?”  Have you students name different things that they noticed while you were reading.  “When you read with expression your reader can tell if you are reading happy, sad, mad, and many other feelings.  Today, we are going to talk about all of the things that can help us read expressively.”
3. Now read the book Tops and Bottoms to your students.  This book consists of a bear and a hare talking throughout the story.  Make sure you really emphasize the difference in their voices.  Have the students notice different tones in your voice.  “I want you all to notice how I read with a different voice when each character talks.  This makes the story more interesting.”
4. Have the students break into groups of four.  Have them discuss the different voices throughout the story.  “Class, I want you to talk with your group about different ways that the bear could sound and different ways that the hare could talk.”  Have them pick out different sentences that should be read slowly or fast.
5. Have your students now break into groups of two.  Have them take turns reading different parts to the book called Amelia Bedelia.  Have the students fill out the evaluation sheet as their partner reads.  “I want you to listen carefully to your partner as he/she reads.  Fill out the evaluation sheet as your partner reads.”
6. For assessment, have the children come to you one at a time throughout the course of two days.  Give them a sentence and have them change the way they read the sentence.  Have them be excited, mad, and sad.  This will show you if they understand what it means to read expressively.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Brigham Young
 University.  Prentice Hall, New Jersey (1995).  Meg Crow “Expression Equals Enjoyment”  Kelly Star “Come With Me to Read Expressively”
Click here to return to Inroads