Hilary Brannon
Growing Independence and Fluency

Express Yourself!

Rationale:  As the students become more fluent readers they should learn
to read with expression.  This should be done when reading silently and
aloud.  This lesson is designed to help students read with expression to
better understand the text.  This will be achieved by practicing with short
sentences and reading whole text.

Materials:  Strips of short sentences followed by question
marks, exclamation marks, and periods-1 sentence per strip-(use any type
from appropriate magazines), Yo, Yes?   (fictional
book),magazines, scissors, chalk, chalk board.


1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that a story is much more fun to read
and listen to when it is read with expression.  Explain to the students what
reading with expression means.  To read with expression we need to
know what a sentence ends with.  Sentences can end in
periods, exclamation points, and question marks.  Write each on the board
and remind students that they have seen each of these before.

2.  Review sentence structure.  This includes beginning a sentence with a
capital letter and reading left to right ,top to bottom.  Also review
cross-checking.  Say:  Remember to first try the word, then finish the
sentence ,then go back if a word doesn‚t make sense.  Remind the
students that reading must always make sense. Explain that reading with
expression also helps to make stories more sensible also.

3.  Give each student a sentence strip.  The teacher should have a strip
with an example of each type of sentence.  (Who are you?  This is fun!  My
name is Jim.)  Model how to read each one to the class.  Say:  When we
see a question mark at the end of a sentence, our  voice goes up after the
last word(read the first sentence).  When we see an exclamation point at
the end, we make our voice sound excited and happy all the way through
(Read sentence two).  When  a sentence ends with a period our voice goes
down at the end)Read third sentence).

4.  Have each child read their own sentence strip aloud to the class.  This
is an opportunity to make sure students understand the lesson.  Hearing
their classmates read will also reinforce expression.

5.  Divide the class into pairs.  Give each child a magazine and a pair of
scissors.  Say:  Now you and your partner are going to flip through the
magazine and cut out six sentences, two for each type of punctuation.

6.  While sitting with partners, have the kids read Yo! Yes? or any age
appropriate book with lots of varying punctuation.  Have the kids
cross-check their reading and make sure that they are reading with
expression. Give a booktalk along with introducing the book. Say: This
book is about two kids who are trying to communicate with each
other, let’s see if they become friends.

7.  When the class has finished these activities have them to first read
one of the sentences they found in the magazine orally to the class using
the appropriate expressions.  Write a checklist on the board with the
following questions -Did you use the proper tone?  facial expressions?

8.  Finally, have students write their own summary question or
exclamation to summarize the story.

  Adams, Marilyn Yager.  Beginning to Read:  Thinking and learning about
print.   c 1990;

  Designs:  Science and Creativity in Reading Instruction, Spring
1999,Edited by Dr. Bruce Murray .   Really Read It!  Katy Jurgensen,p.58.

Raschka, Chris. Yo!Yes?,1993,Orchard Books, New York.

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