Express Yourself!
Lindsey Tomlinson
Rationale: An important part of developing reading fluency is reading with expression. Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically. Reading with expression entails the changing in a child’s speed, pitch, or vocal volume. Expression helps others to pay attention and develop a sense of understanding. When children read with expression they will come to enjoy the book more. The focus on this lesson is teaching expression when reading.

Materials: JUMANJI by Chris Van Allsburg; Di and Mice, Bo and Rose, Stu’s Tune, and / or books by Educational Insights; “Expression Checklist” evaluation sheets (enough for each child); book marks which were given to the students the week before

1. She/he made her/ his voice change ?  Yes or No
2. She/he enjoyed the book ? Yes or No
3. The book was fun to hear?  Yes or No
4. She / he made it fun because ___________________________-

1. “Today, we are going to learn how to make every book we read enjoyable. Before we learn this I want to go over what we learned last week. Does anyone remember how we can figure out a word we have never seen before? I’ll show you all just to jog your memory. Look at this words on the board (excite). Now, I’m going to cover up the word and we are going to slowly decode it. First letter e = /e/ ; x = /cks/. Put those two together and we get ex = /ecks/. c = /s/, i = /I/ t= /t/. Put it all together and you get e-cks-s--I-t. Excite!”

2. “Now that we have reviewed this, let’s work on how to make reading more enjoyable for everyone. I’m going to read the book JUMANJI to you. But first, I’m going to just read the first page.” Read the first page to the students using a monotone voice. DO not make any volume or speed changes. “Did anyone enjoy that page? Let’s try that again!” Read the same page again using voice inflections. There are four main characters on the first page: Mother, Father, Judy and Peter. Use a different voice for each character. “Did you like that better? Why did you like it better?” Write down on the board why the children enjoyed it better on the board. “You see that when a person’s voice changes it makes the story more enjoyable! This is called expression.”

3. Discuss what expression means to the children. “When the character of a book shows emotion, such as sad or happy, you should read it like that. This way the person or people listening to you read understand more about the story. Everyone will enjoy listening to you read if you read with expression.

4. Assessment: I’m going to put you with a partner. I’m going to pass out an “Express yourself” Checklist and some books. (Use Educational Insight books) I want each of you to read with expression to your partner. As you listen, check off the four areas which I want you to look for. I’m going to walk around and listen to you read.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Brigham Young University. Prentice Hall, New Jersey (1995). pg. 60-61.

“Expression Equals Enjoyment” by Meg Crow

Van Allsburg, Chris. JUMANJI. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981.

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