Books Have Feelings Too!
A Lesson Design by Debbie Troha
Growing Independence and Fluency

Rational:  For children to be successful at reading and enjoy it they need to be able to read smoothly and fluently with expression.  If a child has to sound out every word they will get frustrated easily.  They will loose their desire to practice and learn how to read efficiently.  This lesson will help children practice reading with expression so reading will be more enjoyable for them.

Materials: 4 index cards for each student, markers or crayons, wide selection of children’s literature, chalk, and No More Water in the Tub by: Tedd Arnold

1. Begin lesson be talking to the children in a very monotone voice.  Then reply, “If I sounded like this all day every day I would be a very boring teacher.  When we talk we use expression depending on how we feel.  Sometimes we are happy, excited, sad, and even angry.  Authors who write stories want their characters to have expression just like we do.  Today we are going to practice reading with expression.”
2. Write the following sentence on the board, “Guess what happened.”  Call on students to read the same sentence with different expressions.
3. Have the students draw pictures different expression, one on each of their 4 cards.
4. Allow each child to choose a book they would like to read from the class selection.  Let them read silently at their desks for 15 minutes.  “Remember that silent reading is when we read without moving our lips.”
5. Using the book, No More Water in the Tub by Tedd Arnold, the teacher will model reading expressively aloud to the class.  She will with a book talk as follows:  “This story is about a little boy getting ready for bed.  He goes to take his bath and his mom gives him 1 more minute to fill the tub with water.  His brother gets the idea to turn the handle all the way so more water will come out in a minute’s time.  He turns it and turns it and turns it……until, IT COMES OFF!  To find out what happens to William and the overflowing tub you will have to read the story, No More Water in the Tub.”  Then she will say, “I would like to share with you one of my favorite passages.  ‘Downstairs, Uncle Nash stepped into the hall to take out the garbage.  He felt a drop of water and looked up.  There was William, in the bathtub, plunging down a waterfall where the staircase used to be!’  What feeling do you think the author wanted the book to have in this part?  Hold up your cards with the expression you think I read and I will tell you if it is correct.  Good job!”
6. For assessment each child from the class will read one short passage out loud (that they have selected from the silent reading they just did in their chosen book) and the students will vote on the expression they thought their classmate was trying to portray by holding up their cards.  The teacher will praise the students for their efforts and take notes of the students who are having difficulty with this concept.

Reference:  Murray, Bruce ed. (1999), Lesson Designs (pg.52) “Reading Express” by: Rachel Norris
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