Independence and Fluency Lesson Design
Rationale: In order for a child to progress to a
good reader, he/she must be able to read independently and fluently.
This lesson focuses on reading fluency. Fluency
means reading faster, smoother, more expressively, or more quietly with
the goal of reading silently (Murray). Reading with expression not only makes a story
more interesting to hear, but it also makes a story more interesting to
read. In this lesson students will buddy read to
practice reading with expression and exaggeration.
Materials: Alexander and the Terrible,
Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (a copy for each
student and one for the teacher); cover up cards; writing journals
& pencils; evaluation sheet (below--one for each student)
Evaluation Sheet (Amanda Starnes)
1. My partner's voice changed as he/she
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
- "Can anyone
tell me what reading with expression means or give me an example of it?
Good! Reading with expression means that you give the
details of a story with the tone of your voice and your facial
expressions and body movements."
- The teacher
will read a passage from the book first with a monotone, apathetic
voice, then with an enthusiastic, exciting voice. "Which
interpretation of the passage did you like best? Why
did you like the way I read it the second time better?" The
teacher will explain to the students that when a person changes the
tone of their voice, it sparks interest in the listeners and it makes
reading and listening more fun.
- "Boys and
girls, today you are going to practice reading with expression and
enthusiasm. The book we are going to use today to
help us practice reading with expression is Alexander and the
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." The
teacher will do a book talk to introduce Alexander and the
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. "Have
any of you ever had a really bad day, when nothing ever seems to go
right? Well this is a story about a boy named
Alexander who is having just an awful day. From the
time he wakes up, his day has already started off bad, because he woke
up with gum in his hair and tripped on a skateboard getting out of bed.
You all will have to read the story to find out if
Alexander's day gets better."
- "When I pass
out the books to you, I want you to get with your reading buddy and
read the book quietly to each other. As you are
reading, think about different parts in the book that you would read
with expression and write your thoughts down in your journals.
Also, we are going to practice using our cover up cards to
help us identify unfamiliar words. Remember that
when you come to a word you don't know, cover it up. Uncover
the word letter by letter, sounding out the letters as you go.
At the end of the word, blend all the sounds together to say
the word. Read the entire book to each other, and
raise your hands if you need any help with anything."
- "When you
have both finished reading to each other, I want you to review your
notes that you jotted down in your journals and reread the book to each
other again, only this time, I want you to use expression when you are
reading. Sometimes you may need to sound angry, or
upset, or happy, or excited. Whatever the case, I
want your partner to be able to hear those expressions in your voice as
you read. Listeners must pay close attention to the
readers, because everyone must complete this evaluation check list."
The teacher will read over checklist to make sure students
Assessment: The teacher will call on each child
individually to come to her desk and read a page out of Alexander
and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with expression.
She will use the evaluation sheet as a rubric for their progress.
Starnes, Amanda. "Be Expressive." http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/starnesgf.html
Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Anthenum Books. 1972.
Click here to return to Inspirations.