Expression is the key
Melinda McDonald
Growing Independence and Fluency


The lesson is designed to help children see how and why they should read with expression.  Reading with expression should be done every time you read whether it is aloud or silently.  The lesson will allow children to hear a model of reading with expression and they will practice reading with expression their self.


Chalkboard, chalk, copies of Bully by Judith Caseley, copy of For Sale by Shel Silverstien (poem), assessment check sheet


1. Start off reading For Sale by Shel Silverstein (with great expression).  "Today we are going to talk bout reading with expression.  When we read with expression it brings life to the story.  As you become more confident with reading, you will become better at reading with expression."

2. Review sentence structure.  This includes beginning letter with a capital, read left to right, top to bottom.  Review cross checking.  "First try to say the word, then finish the sentence, then go back if word doesn't make sense."  Remind the students that reading always make sense.  Explain that reading with expression helps to make stories more sensible.

3. "Punctuation is a way to know what kind of expression to use.  Two punctuation marks we are going to focus on are the exclamation point and the question mark.  (Review the marks)  If I read a sentence that ends with a question mark, how would it sound?  (Class involvement)  An example of it is, "Do you have a dollar?"  If I read a sentence with an exclamation point, how would it sound?  (Class involvement)  An example, "One sister for sale!  One sister for sale!"

4. Read aloud For sale by Shel Silverstein.  Read twice once with expression and once without.  Ask students the difference between the two.  Ask which one they liked better.  "Great you see reading with expression made the book more understandable and more fun to read."

5. Pair up students.  Pass out copies of Bully by Judith Caseley.  Have them practice reading with expression to one another.

6. For the assessment, teacher will go around to room and listen to each child.  Teacher will do a checklist on each child.  The list is included.  At the end of the day, teacher will have a quick conference with each child to discuss the lesson.  If students didn't meet the checklist I will remodel the lesson and explain it one on one.


Reading genie
Adams, Marilyn. Beginning to read: Thinking and Learning about Print.
Insight from second grade teacher at Dean Road Elementary, Mrs. Gaylor.
Click here to return to Openings.