We’re Messin’ with
Growing Independence and Fluency
Fluency is a vital component of skillful readers and reading
expression is a component of fluency. Reading with expression makes
easier and makes stories more exciting/inviting. This lesson will
children see, hear, and practice enthusiastic reading, recognize
and continue to improve their reading through reading and evaluating
their progress with a partner.
- Bedhead by
Margie Palatini. 2005 (one for each student pair)
- When Sophie Gets
Angry—Really, Really Angry… by Sophie Bang. Blue Sky Press, 2004.
- Paper and pencil
- Chart paper
- 3 sentence strips that make up
a paragraph (After school my mom took us all to the dentist and Dr.
Fields found a cavity in my mouth. Come back next week and I’ll
fix it, said Dr. Fields. Next week, I said, I’m going to Australia!)
- Peer Evaluation Form/ Checklist
for teacher assessment of students reading:
Does your partner/ the student read smoothly?
2. Does your partner/the student
vary their tone of voice?
3. Does your partner/the student
change the tempo in the reading when necessary?
4. Does your partner/the student
show emotion with facial movement?
- Different cutout masks, showing
emotions (sad, happy, mad, puzzled) for each student.
- Sentences modeling each of
these emotions: I fell off my bike and cut my knee. I won
the spelling bee today. My little brother broke my favorite
toy. I cannot figure out the answer to this problem…
- Explain what it means to read
with expression and why it is important. “Today, we are going to
learn how to read with expression! Has anybody ever listened to
one person read a story and they really liked it and then you heard
another person read it and you didn’t like it as much? Maybe it
was because one person did not read with expression and it made the
story very boring. Expression is the way your voice naturally
moves up and down when you talk. We should always read with
expression, so that the story comes alive, just like you speak with
expression. When we read, we should be
reading with expression to make the story more interesting for the
- I will explain to the students
that as great readers we want to entertain our audience and we want to
enjoy it too. To get your audience interested, you should read
with expression and make the story come alive. One way to do this
is by using the voice a character would us when speaking. Let’s
practice, repeat the sentence after me with expression. “Today is
my birthday!” Allow time for students to say the sentence with
joy. “It is a dark, rainy day.” Allow time for students to
sadly repeat the sentence.
- “Now we are going to look at
some sentences. I am going to read them once with
expression. (Read the sentences: After school my mom took
us all to the dentist and Dr. Fields found a cavity on my tooth.
Come back next week and I’ll fix it, said Dr. Fields. Next week,
I said, I’m going to Australia!)
How did that sound to you? It was very boring to read! Was it
boring to listen to? Now I will read the same sentence again with
expression (Read again, but this time with lots of expression). One secret to reading with expression is
making the pitch of your voice change from high to low, depending on
your emotion. “How did the second time sound different?
- I will model emotions by
reading Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… by
Sophie Bang. I will use many forms of expression to display the
correct way to read with expression to the students. “Now I’m
going to read Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry…
When I complete one page I want you to give me thumbs up or thumbs down
if you think I used correct expression while reading. Read one
page and go over their response as a class. Then
read 3 or 4 more pages, reading some with expression and some without.
- The class will now engage in an
activity. I will hand out the cutout mask to each student. I will
read the sentences listed above and when I read the sentence want you
to put up the “emotion mask” that matches with the sentence.
- “Now I am going to read a book
called Bedhead. Bedhead is about a boy who wakes up one morning with
horrible bedhead hair and worst of all is that it’s picture day at
school. Will his family figure out a way to fix his hair before
school? We’ll have to read to figure it out.”
I will read the book to the students and model to them how
it should be read with expression. And
then let them know that they will be reading this book to their partner.
- Now, I will put students into
pairs and give them a copy of the book and the peer evaluation
sheet. While one student is reading, the other student will fill
out the sheet on their partner’s expression while reading. I will
go over the partners’ evaluation sheet and discuss each question, so
that students understand the evaluation.
- Assessment: I will use
the partner evaluation. I will walk around and observe the
students as they take turns reading. I will complete the form of
how well students read with expression.
Peer Evaluation Sheet
Does your partner/ the student read
your partner/the student vary their tone of voice?
Does your partner/the student change the tempo in the reading when
Does your partner/the student show emotion with facial movement
Bang, Sophie. When
Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… 2004.
You’re Happy and You Know It… Show us with Expression! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/crumpgf.html
American Expression http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/catalysts/hallgf.html
Margie. Bedhead. Simon
& Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2000. 32 pages
Smith, Melanie. Is That
Expression in Your Voice, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/smithmgf.html
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