Growing Independence and Fluency Design

YAY for Expression!

Lauren Parker



Rationale:  Fluency is being able to read and reread decodable words in connected text.  To be fluent you have to be able to read accurate and automatic.  To be a successful reader which means fluent, there are five components: reading faster, reading with expression, reading smoothly, reading silently and being able to read voluntarily.  This lesson is going to focus on being able to read with expression. 


Materials:  Blackboard, chalk, sentences written by the teacher, Five Minutes’ Peace, 1 copy of Lee and the Team for each student, Assessment checklist for each student


Sample Sentences:  Do you like to go to the playground?

                                          Stop kicking me!

                                          Can you pass me that book please?

                                          I can’t wait to go to the beach!

                                          Leave me alone!

                                          Do you want to go and play with me?


Sample Checklist:



1.  The teacher will begin by sharing about expressive reading with the students.  To let people we are reading too know what is happening in a story we have to change our voice.  When we change our voice we either make it lower or higher to show our emotion.  I will also share why we read with expression.  First, I will tell the students to listen to two sentences.  When the children think they hear the one with expression, they will raise their hand.  I will then ask them if they think they would like listening to a story if it was read like the sentence without expression?  The class will then realize that expression makes a story interesting and enjoyable to listen too. 

2.  Now I will read Five Minutes’ Peace.  I will tell the children that if you hear me using good expression and emotion I want you to hold both thumbs up, if you think I am reading with no expression and very plain then hold both thumbs down.  The teacher will read a few sentences without expression (“I am going to the beach.”) then change and read with great expression (“I am going to the beach!”).  This will show the students what a big difference it makes when someone reads with expression.
3. Now I will write several sentences on the board.  I will ask for a student to read that sentence without expression then reread it with the expression that they think is needed to make the sentence make sense.  We will do the first one together.  Ex. I love the beach!  The teacher will read the first time with no emotion or expression then reread with great expression and exclamation.
4. Next the teacher will review with the class about punctuation marks and the feelings associated with them.  The teacher will explain how a person might change their voice in different ways to read a sentence with a question mark (“Will you please hand be that book?”) or an exclamation point(“Hand me that book!”).  There will be a class discussion and several examples given by both the students and the teacher.
5. Now we will be reading a book called Lee and the Team.  Book Talk: “This book is about a boy Lee. He is on a baseball team.  On the day of their game, they are late.  The team is supposed to run but they do not want to.  What will happen since they do not want to run?  Lets find out!”
6. The teacher will ask the students to pull out their copies of Lee and the Team.  First the students will read silently.  I will then call on students to read out loud to practice using expression by having to look out for the punctuation. 





     As the students are reading out loud I will have my checklist checking off how they read.  If they are not reading with enough expression or not reading it correctly I will stop them, ask them why they think I stopped them, help them fix it, and they will then reread that sentence.


Reference: Use Expression! By Melissa Parrish


Murphy, Jill.  Five Minutes’ Peace.  Scholastic 1990.


Lee and the Team.  Educational Insights:  Carson, CA. 1990.