How Does This Make You Feel?


Fluency Lesson Design

By Vicki Burns


-         Rationale- Students need fluency to become successful readers.  Reading with expression is one of the components of fluency.  It is important for the students to read with expression for two reasons.  We read with expression because that is how we talk in real life.  Another reason to read with expression is because it makes the book interesting and come alive to all who listen.  The students will do several things with expression including listening to expression, recognizing punctuation in reading that relates to expression, and practice reading with expression with a partner. 


      -Materials: The Grouchy Ladybug big book Harper Trophy (September 30, 1996), Green Eggs and Ham copies for each student Random House Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 12, 1960), board, dry erase markers, and my    evaluation for assessment for each student (shown below).


Evaluation for Expression

___Did the student change his/her voice from high to low when needed?

___Did the student change his/her voice from loud to soft when needed?

___Did the student recognize the punctuation mark present at the end of each sentence and read it accordingly?

___Did the student show emotion with facial movement?

___Did the student respond well to peer or teacher suggestions when reading if applicable?




-         Procedures:

-         I will first explain to my class why expression is important to reading.  I would say, "Boys and girls, have you ever heard someone tell you a great story or secret before?  Did they sound like when I say, (say very unenthusiastically) 'I have a great secret to tell to you' (yawn).  No, you're right.  I would say, (full of excitement) 'I have a GREAT secret to tell you!'.  When we read out-loud, we should use the same expressions with our voices and even our faces to make the story come alive.  Not only will you enjoy it, others will too.  You will probably remember more information if you read with expression than if you read without it."


-         Now, I will tell the students how they can change expression by saying, "We can change expression of sad, happy, excited, and made feelings by changing several things.  We can change our voices going higher or lower.  Also, we can make our voices louder or softer to change expression.  Let's continue to investigate our expression with reading."


-         Then I will explain how to use this concept by saying, "First, listen to what we are going to say as a class.  Put your good listening ears on.  There are several sentences on the board.  Ya'll read them all to yourself first and think about appropriate expression for each sentence.  Now, I am going to say a sentence and I want you to put your thumbs up if I say it with good expression or put your thumbs down if it does not have good or appropriate expression".   (go through all the sentences).  "Great listening skills to see that I used expression only part of the time." 


-         (The students will then practice using expression as a class.  I will pull out my big book The Grouchy Lady Bug so that the whole class can read together practicing expression.)  I will say, "Now that you can recognize what expression is, let's practice using what we learned.  This is a story called The Grouchy Lady Bug.  What kind of expression do you think we will use most often based of the title?  You're right, we will be angry and probably use low, gruff voices.  This is a story about a lady bug who wants to pick a fight with everyone.  The others do not care.  There is even one ladybug who tries to be nice.  Let's read and see what happens to the grumpy lady bug.".  (read book as a class using expression).  "Great reading.  I can really tell a difference because you used expression.  What did you notice about this sentence (show a sentence with the angry lady bug that has an explanation point)?  You're right, usually the explanation point means louder expression.  Is it always linked with bad expression?  Good thinking.  Sometimes an explanation point can mean very excited too.  What can you tell me about question marks and expression?  You're right, it means your voice shows you're confused or wanting to know an answer".



-         (Break children in twos and have them read Green Eggs and Ham.  They have a partner that can help with expression while reading).  "Ok boys and girls, I want you to get with your reading buddy and practice using expression.  Let's help one another nicely.  You do not have to say 'You're wrong' because that isn't very nice.  A polite way to help is to say, 'That is great reading, but this is how I would read the sentence'.  I will be coming around to see how you are reading.  This book is about Sam who wants his friend to try green eggs and ham.  That doesn't sound very good and the friend keeps on getting angry when asked to eat the green eggs and ham.  Do you think he will try it?  Why do you think so?  Let's read and find out!".



-         I will assess the children's learning by going around to each reading group with my check list (bottom) and see if they read with expression.  I will then be able to help them if any confusion is there.



            -Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham.  Random House Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 12, 1960).  Seventy-two pages.


            -Eric Carle, The Grouchy Ladybug.  Harper Trophy (September 30, 1996).  Forty-eight pages.

            -Maggie Saye, 'Express Yourself?'.



            -Amy Berger, 'We're Messin' With Expression'.




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