"All Aboard the Reading Express"
Expressive Reader Design
By:  Christina Woods

 

Rationale
    As children become more fluent readers, they should learn to read with expression.  Reading with expression makes text more enjoyable for everyone involved in the reading experience.  This lesson is designed to help students read with expression by matching the tone and pitch of their voice to specific moods pictured on mood cards.

Materials
    1 set of mood cards for each student (composed of 4 notecards—1 each illustrating happy, sad, excited, and angry moods), variety of books     in class library (trade books & age appropriate decodable text), sentence strips with 1 sentence printed on each, list of expressive sentences     (for teacher), checklist of expressive qualities (for assessment).

    Sentence Strips:
               "My dog ran away and I cannot find him."  (sad mood)
               "I just won a million dollars!"  (excited mood)
               "That boy made my team lose the game."  (angry mood)
               "It is a beautiful day to go swimming."  (happy mood)

    Assessment Checklist (categories include, but are not limited to):
               a)  Change in voice pitch/tone      yes     no     yes, but incorrectly
               b)  Changed tempo in reading      yes     no
               c)  Changed facial expressions     yes     no     sometimes
               d)  Other Comments:

Procedure

1.    Begin by introducing the idea of reading with expression.  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO READ WITH EXPRESSION?              Allow time for the students to share ideas.  GOOD.  READING WITH EXPRESSION MEANS PUTTING FEELING AND EMOTION INTO THE     WORDS YOU READ.  WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT?  THAT'S RIGHT.  BECAUSE IT MAKES READING MORE FUN AND             INTERESTING.  THERE ARE MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU READ THAT CAN HELP YOU EXPRESS FEELINGS.  FOR                 INSTANCE, YOU CAN RAISE AND LOWER YOUR VOICE, CHANGE THE TONE OF YOUR VOICE, READ CERTAIN WORDS SLOWER         OR FASTER THAN OTHERS, OR CHANGE YOUR FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.  WATCH FOR ALL THESE CHANGES AS I READ THE             SENTENCE STRIPS.  Model different expressive qualities by reading each sentence and pausing afterward for class discussion.  Ex: I JUST     WON A MILLION DOLLARS!  The expression is excitement.  DID YOU NOTICE ANY OF THE TRAITS WE JUST DISCUSSED?  YOU'RE         RIGHT.  I RAISED MY VOICE, TALKED IN A HIGH-PITCHED TONE, TALKED AT A MORE RAPID PACE, AND HAD A SMILE FROM                 EAR-TO-EAR.  ALL OF THESE THINGS LET YOU KNOW THAT I WAS EXCITED.  THIS WAS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING THE MOOD OF     THE SENTENCE.

2.    Pass out one set of mood cards to each student.  NOW THAT WE UNDERSTAND WHAT READING WITH EXPRESSION MEANS, WE         ARE GOING TO PLAY A GAME TOGETHER.  I AM GOING TO READ A SENTENCE USING EXPRESSION AND I WANT YOU TO RAISE         YOUR CARD THAT MATCHES MY MOOD.  REMEMBER TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE TRAITS WE TALKED ABOUT.  IS                     EVERYONE READY?  Read a variety of sentences from the sentence list already prepared that express each of the moods.  Ex:  GO TO THE     PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE; YOU'RE IN BIG TROUBLE.  Be sure students hold up the "angry" card.  Continue with more sentences that                         demonstrate reading expressively to ensure that students understand the concept.

3.    NOW WE ARE GOING TO READ WITH OUR "BUDDY".  This should produce several groups of two.  YOU AND YOUR BUDDY ARE                 GOING TO CHOOSE THE SAME BOOK FROM THE CLASS LIBRARY AND EACH OF YOU NEEDS A COPY.  AS YOU CHOOSE YOUR         BOOK, REMEMBER TO DO THE "2-FINGER TEST".  DOES EVERYONE REMEMBER HOW?  YOU AND YOUR BUDDY SHOULD EACH     HOLD-UP 2 FINGERS.  SELECT A BOOK THAT INTERESTS BOTH OF YOU AND READ THE FIRST PAGE INDIVIDUALLY.  IF YOU                 COME TO A WORD YOU DON'T KNOW, PUT 1 FINGER DOWN.  IF YOU COME TO ANOTHER UNFAMILIAR WORD, PUT DOWN THE         SECOND FINGER.  IF EITHER YOU OR YOUR BUDDY PUTS BOTH FINGERS DOWN WHILE READING ONE PAGE, YOU NEED TO             CHOOSE A DIFFERENT BOOK THAT IS ON YOUR READING LEVEL.  The teacher may need to assist students in their selection if they             cannot agree.  AFTER YOU HAVE SELECTED A BOOK, I WANT YOU TO READ THE BOOK ALTERNATING BETWEEN THE PAGES.          FOR EXAMPLE, IF BOBBY READS PAGE 1, SUE WILL READ PAGE 2, BOBBY PAGE 3, AND SO ON.  AS YOU READ, REMEMBER TO     USE EXPRESSION.  CHANGE YOUR TONE, PITCH, AND FACIAL EXPRESSIONS TO MATCH THE MOOD OF THE TEXT.  REREAD             THE BOOK ONCE AGAIN WITH YOUR BUDDY, THIS TIME READING THE PAGES YOU DID NOT READ BEFORE.  

Assessment
     This will be done in the form of an individual check list.  As the students read, visit each group and listen to each member read at least two         pages.  Evaluate each student's ability to read expressively, and fill-out an expressive qualities check list for each.

References
Baker, Joanie. Express Delivery. 2002. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/bakergf.html.
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