Aboard the Reading Express"
Expressive Reader Design
By: Christina Woods
As children become more fluent readers, they should
to read with expression. Reading with expression makes text more
for everyone involved in the reading experience. This lesson is
to help students read with expression by matching the tone and pitch of
voice to specific moods pictured on mood cards.
1 set of mood cards for each student (composed of 4
each illustrating happy, sad, excited, and angry moods), variety of
in class library (trade books & age appropriate
text), sentence strips with 1 sentence printed on each, list of
sentences (for teacher), checklist of expressive
dog ran away and I cannot find him." (sad mood)
just won a million dollars!" (excited mood)
boy made my team lose the game." (angry mood)
is a beautiful day to go swimming." (happy mood)
Assessment Checklist (categories include, but are
Change in voice pitch/tone
no yes, but incorrectly
Changed tempo in reading
Changed facial expressions
d) Other Comments:
1. Begin by introducing the idea of reading with
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO READ WITH EXPRESSION?
Allow time for the students to
ideas. GOOD. READING WITH EXPRESSION MEANS PUTTING FEELING
EMOTION INTO THE WORDS YOU READ. WHY DO YOU
THIS IS IMPORTANT? THAT'S RIGHT. BECAUSE IT MAKES READING
THERE ARE MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU READ THAT CAN HELP YOU
INSTANCE, YOU CAN RAISE AND LOWER YOUR VOICE, CHANGE
TONE OF YOUR VOICE, READ CERTAIN WORDS SLOWER
OR FASTER THAN OTHERS, OR CHANGE YOUR FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. WATCH
ALL THESE CHANGES AS I READ THE
SENTENCE STRIPS. Model different expressive qualities by reading
sentence and pausing afterward for class discussion. Ex: I JUST
WON A MILLION DOLLARS! The expression is excitement. DID
NOTICE ANY OF THE TRAITS WE JUST DISCUSSED? YOU'RE
RIGHT. I RAISED MY VOICE, TALKED IN A
TONE, TALKED AT A MORE RAPID PACE, AND HAD A SMILE FROM
ALL OF THESE THINGS LET YOU KNOW THAT I WAS EXCITED. THIS WAS MY
OF EXPRESSING THE MOOD OF THE SENTENCE.
2. Pass out one set of mood cards to each
NOW THAT WE UNDERSTAND WHAT READING WITH EXPRESSION MEANS, WE
ARE GOING TO PLAY A GAME TOGETHER. I AM GOING
READ A SENTENCE USING EXPRESSION AND I WANT YOU TO RAISE
YOUR CARD THAT MATCHES MY MOOD. REMEMBER TO
CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE TRAITS WE TALKED ABOUT. IS
EVERYONE READY? Read a variety of sentences from the sentence
already prepared that express each of the moods. Ex: GO TO
PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE; YOU'RE IN BIG TROUBLE. Be
students hold up the "angry" card. Continue with more sentences
demonstrate reading expressively
ensure that students understand the concept.
3. NOW WE ARE GOING TO READ WITH OUR "BUDDY".
should produce several groups of two. YOU AND YOUR BUDDY ARE
THE SAME BOOK FROM THE CLASS LIBRARY AND EACH OF YOU NEEDS A
AS YOU CHOOSE YOUR BOOK, REMEMBER
DO THE "2-FINGER TEST". DOES EVERYONE REMEMBER HOW? YOU AND
BUDDY SHOULD EACH HOLD-UP 2 FINGERS. SELECT A
THAT INTERESTS BOTH OF YOU AND READ THE FIRST PAGE INDIVIDUALLY.
COME TO A WORD YOU DON'T KNOW, PUT 1 FINGER DOWN. IF YOU COME TO
UNFAMILIAR WORD, PUT DOWN THE
FINGER. IF EITHER YOU OR YOUR BUDDY PUTS BOTH FINGERS DOWN WHILE
ONE PAGE, YOU NEED TO
CHOOSE A DIFFERENT BOOK THAT IS ON YOUR READING LEVEL. The
may need to assist students in their selection if they
cannot agree. AFTER YOU
SELECTED A BOOK, I WANT YOU TO READ THE BOOK ALTERNATING BETWEEN THE
FOR EXAMPLE, IF BOBBY READS PAGE
SUE WILL READ PAGE 2, BOBBY PAGE 3, AND SO ON. AS YOU READ,
TO USE EXPRESSION. CHANGE YOUR TONE, PITCH,
FACIAL EXPRESSIONS TO MATCH THE MOOD OF THE TEXT. REREAD
THE BOOK ONCE AGAIN WITH YOUR
THIS TIME READING THE PAGES YOU DID NOT READ BEFORE.
This will be done in the form of an individual
list. As the students read, visit each group and listen to each
read at least two pages.
each student's ability to read expressively, and fill-out an expressive
check list for each.
Baker, Joanie. Express Delivery. 2002.
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