Rationale: Now that the children can read on their own they need
the tools necessary to enjoy that reading. Reading with
expression is one tool that will make reading a pleasurable and
remember able experience. Through practice and fluency techniques
the children can learn to read with expression.
Materials: The book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No
Good, Very Bad Day, other books containing many expressive words for
the children to pick from, an expressive quality checklist (1st row
voice was the same throughout the story and my partner stumbled a
little on some of the words, voice moved up and down while reading but
all the characters had the same voice, and voice moves up and down and
characters all have different voices when my partner read) and chart
Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by reading the
Alexander book. Over emphasize the expressive words. Ask
the children "what did my voice do while I was reading the book?"
Wait for a response and then tell them that "reading with
expression is a part of being a good reader and today we are going to
learn how to read with expression. Learning to read with
expression is really very easy. All you have to do is
practice. Do you believe that I could read that story so well the
first time I read it? Of course not, but I practiced it and then
after I learned the characters I could give them each a different voice
and an expressive personality".
2. Write this passage on chart paper; "I went to sleep with
gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of
bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped
my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it
was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." (Viorst,
1) Model the process of gaining expression by first reading the
passage slowly, tripping over complicated words such as skateboard, and
sweater, like the children would. Read the passage again gaining
speed and finally, read the passage with expression using body
3. Have the children pick a book they will read and reread until
they have reached the point of expression. Remind them that when
picking a book they should use the two-finger rule. Read the
first page of the book and count the number of words that they cannot
read. If the number is greater than two then the book is too hard
for them and they should choose another one.
4. Have the children read their books through once aloud at their
desks. Walk around the room helping anyone who needs it and check
to see that every student is reading on their independent reading
5. Have the students get into groups of two. Give each
group an expressive checklist. Have the children reread their
book choices to each other checking off a box on their checklist for
each reread. Continue rereading until the box reading, voice
moves up and down and characters all have different voices when my
6. Assessment. Once the children have reached the final box
on the checklist (voice moves up and down and characters all have
different voices when my partner read) have the student read the book
to you, then offer to let the child read to the class (only if the
child wants to).
Reference: Hayles, Tina. Lights, Camera, and Action.
Judith Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.
Aladdin Library, 1987.