crocodile

A Reading Rockabye

Growing Independency and Fluency

By: Kristie Fitzgerald

Rational: ­This lesson is designed to help students develop the ability to read independently and fluently.  The lessons focus is primarily on fluency. Fluency will enable the students to read faster, smoother, and with more expression. Reading fluency is the ability to read faster, smoother, and with more expression. In order for students to become fluent readers, they must "read and reread decodable words in connected text." Reading with expression includes changing pitch and tone of the voice to better fit the text. Reading with expression creates more interest and wonder in the story children are reading. The students will be given a text.  The students will be asked to read various character parts in the story and express the attitude of their character, like being an actor/actress. The purpose of this lesson design is to offer practice in reading expressively.

 

Materials:       -A board for the teacher to write examples on

                        - Markers or chalk for the teacher to use on the board

-Class set of the book: Rockabye Crocodile, by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey, published by Greenwillow Books, for reading groups

-Check list for assessment (time for one minute read, how many words, how they are progressing, amount of incorrect words.)

- A List of Sentences for the teacher to read and model fluency from the book

-List of the sentences used in the lesson

- Sentences:

-Ouch! I hurt my toe!

- Ohhhh No! I forgot my homework!

- Do you want chips or French fries with your sandwich?

- Lets go make snow angels in the snow!

-How much further do we have to drive to get to Auntie Anne’s house?

- Shark! There is a shark in the water! Get out!

- MMMM, is smells like momma’s cooking!

-Wow, it’s so beautiful! 

 

Procedures:
1. "Today, we are going to learn to read with expression. Does any know what expression is? Can anyone show me how to use expression?  (Allow for students to give answers). When you say something with expression, you have feelings in your face, voice, etc. to go along with what you are saying.

"But before we become skilled at reading with expression, lets go over what we should do if we came across a word we do not know.  Remember, we can use cover-ups, to figure out the words we do not know. To help us to try and guess the word we cover up part of the word so we can read it a little at a time. Also to help us make sure we have figured out the correct word, we can cross-check, which means we read the rest of the sentence to see if a word makes sense."

2. I'm going to say two statements and I want you pay close attention and tell me, which one makes more sense to you. Ready? “I hit a homerun at my softball game today and I won!”  (The first time the teachers says it, say it in a monotone voice.) "Hmmm, that statement did not sound very good, I wonder why?  Did you like the way I read the first page?” “Now let me read the same statement again."  Now the teacher reads the same statement again, but with an expressive voice.  "Who liked the second reading better? Well, why did you like this one better than the other?"  The class should discuss why they liked the statement better the second time.  "You’ll are exactly right!  The second time I read the sentence my reading enhanced because I used different tones of voice, I read more smoothly, I did not take long pauses between the words in the sentence, I read quicker, and my facial expression changed with my tone of voice. I had feelings in my face and voice." The teacher will write these explanations on the board.

3. "As good, fluent readers we want our viewers to enjoy what we are reading and we want to enjoy it too. I always pretend like I’m an actress putting on a performance. Everyone enjoyed listening to the story better when I read with expression.  We are going to learn how to use expression when we read and write to help us feel what we read."

 

4.  Now that we have discussed expression. Who can give me a definition of expression? Call on students to create the definition of expression. The students should form the basic idea that expression is how we change the volume, speed, and tone of our voices as we read the text.  Write the definition they have formed on the board.  You can explain to the students that the reading speed will make the story more or less suspenseful.  The tone of the reader’s voice will help develop the way the characters are feeling and the pitch of the reader's voice can cause the story to be scary or exciting.

 

5. "I am going to read a sentence that I have written on the board.  After I read each sentence I want you to give me an expression of a smile on your face if you think I read with expression or a frown if you think I did not use expression when I read the sentence."  The teacher will read each sentence out loud to the class some read with expression and some without.  If the students give me a frown I will call on a student to reread the same sentence I just read but with expression.

 

Sentences:

-Ouch! I hurt my toe!

- Ohhhh No! I forgot my homework!

- Do you want chips or French fries with your sandwich?

- Lets go make snow angels in the snow!

-How much further do we have to drive to get to Auntie Anne’s house?

- Shark! There is a shark in the water! Get out!

- MMMM, is smells like momma’s cooking!

-Wow, it’s so beautiful! 

6. Tell the students that, "today you will be practicing your great reading skills by trying to make your voices more expressive.  We will be reading Rockabye Crocodile in reading groups of four. You will be playing characters: Nettie, Amabel, the crocodile, the narrator. When your character speaks you will read with expression to the group. This book is about two boars. One is really nice and one is very mean. When the kind boar goes out in search of food, the bamboo tree sways to her humming and drops fish in her basket. And when she takes care of the crocodile’s baby, the crocodile supplies her with eels and crabs. But the next morning, when the mean boar demands the same, it is not fish that she finds in her basket. Remember you are playing characters in a story so read with expression like you were an actor/actress performing in front of an audience.

7.  Use a line from the text to provide and example of how a character might sound. Explain that the characters will have different voices and that they will express their words differently depending on how they feel about the situations. If the character is excited, we should use an excited voice but if he is angry we should use an angry voice. Students should be divided into groups of three and given a copy of the text.

8. Assign each student in the group the character they are going be and read expressively. Give them the opportunity to read through their part silently before asking them to read out load in their groups. Instruct the students to try to relate to the characters, to think about the attitude of the character and how the characters might feel.  Have the students reread the text together in their small groups. We need to be able to recognize the words quickly to be able to read quickly, so we are going to practice with our partners. As you read with your partner, you will notice changes in the way you read Remind them that they are to portray their character to their group members using expression.

9. Students will then take turns in their group reading the story. Encourage students to read with expression and to help each other with the expressions if they get confused. They can switch characters is they would like. This should make the students become more and more comfortable and fluent with the text. After the group has read the story two or three times together, ask the students to discuss how each group member portrayed their character and what was happening in the story that caused the students to read that way and make a list on a sheet of paper of the characteristics that make expression important and the difference it makes.  They are to help each other read more fluently by giving helpful tips to each other.Monitor and take notes to see how quickly the students are reading the story.

Assessment:  Be sure to walk from group to group monitoring their reading and listening to each child. Create a checklist to assess each child as you hear them read. I will pick two or three pages of the book and have the groups read their parts out loud and with the expression they have been practicing.  I will check the students mainly for fluency and expression as they read their parts to me. 

Example of an assessment checklist:

-Does the voice vary (move up and down)?_______

- How many words read in the one minute read? ________

- Does the student read smoothly? _______

-Did the student read silently first?_______

-If the student read silently did they use their lips?_______

-Does the student change tempo in the reading when necessary? ________

-Does the student show emotion with facial movement? _______

- Is the student progressing? ________

 

References:

Traci Leech: A Fine, Fine Reader:

http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/begin/leechgf.html

Aruego, Jose and Ariane Dewey. Rockabye Crocodile. Greenwillow Books, New York, 1988. 30 pages.