Express Yourself!

Growing Independency and Fluency Lesson Design
woman reading

Julie Mason

 

Rationale:

Reading with expression promotes fluency and reading comprehension. Reader's Theater is a fun and engaging way to get students to read fluently with expression as they are playing a character. By practicing a script, students are reading the text repeatedly for a purpose and they will gain fluency. This lesson uses reader's theater to lead children into reading with expression. Read and reread decodable words in a connected text.

 

Materials:

Dry Erase board and marker

Copy of script for each student

The Foolish Little Hare: A Fable

Assessment: Rubric for each student with questions:

Did the student use expression in their voice when reading?

Did they accurately portray the emotions and character?

Were the facial expressions appropriate for the character and story?

Overall, did the student use expression?

 

Procedures:

  1. When we read out loud it is important that we sound like we do when we are talking with out friends. When you talk to your friends do you say (in monotone voice): "I am going to the store, do you want to come with me?" No, I hope not. You sound like (with expression) "I am going to the store, do you want to go with me?" You also want to use facial expressions when you are reading and let your voice show the mood of what you are reading. Would you say (excitedly with a smile) "I am not feeling well." No, you would say (sad face, sounding sick) "I am not feeling well." We have to remember this when we are reading out loud.
  2. Write on board: "I can't wait to go to the beach today!" Okay I'm going to show you how I would read this sentence if I came across it while I was reading. I can't wait to go to the b… hmm I'm not sure about this word let me get my cover-up critter. First, let's find the vowel. Okay, ea says /E/ then I have the b so /b/ /E/ bea… then ch says /ch/ bea… ch… beach. Oh yeah like by the ocean! Okay so I can't wait to go to the beach today. But oops! There's an exclamation point I know that means I am excited so (excitedly) I can't wait to go to the beach today!
  3. Okay now let's try some together. (Write on board: It is raining outside again.) Let's read it together. (Read sentence as a class.) Okay now, let's read it like we are really excited because we love to dance in the rain and splash in the mud puddles. Ready? (Read again, excitedly.) Great! I saw your smiling faces and you all sounded so happy and excited. Okay, now let's read it like we're sad because we were going to play outside today and now we can't. (Read again, sadly.) Great job, you all sounded so sad.
  4. When people are making a movie or play they read from a script. To make it sound interesting they have to read with expression. Today we are going to read a script using all that expression. We are going to be characters in a play called "The Foolish Little Hare." Everyone knows what a hare is right? Yes, its like a rabbit. In this play there is a little hare who thinks the earth is cracking open! He runs and tells all his friends about it. They all get so worried about the earth about to crack open. What are they going to do? Let's read the script and find out.
  5. Okay everyone look at your script at Foolish Little Hare's first line. I am going to read it and you tell me if I do a good job. (Read line, monotonously.) What do you guys think? No? It was boring? Well how should I sound? That's right, I should sound like I'm asking questions and I'm worried. Let me try again. (Read line again, with expression: "What will I do? What will I do? What if the clouds fall and crush me? What if the earth cracks open and swallows me up? What will I do? What will I do?") Who else thinks they can read that line? (Allow for volunteers to read.) Great job guys!
  6. Okay now everyone will have a chance to practice their parts. The highlighted part is who you will be. Take a few minutes to whisper read all of your lines. Then find a partner and partner read. I will be walking around and looking at your faces and listening to your expressive voices. Make sure you figure out all of the new words and practice your lines!
  7. Now we are going to perform our play! Make sure you use expression and facial expressions so I know the mood and how your character feels. (Have students perform play.)
  8. Assessment: As students perform, listen and watch for expression. Complete rubric for each student as they read their lines. Answer questions:

Did the student use expression in their voice when reading?

Did they accurately portray the emotions and character?

Were the facial expressions appropriate for the character and story?

Overall, did the student use expression?

 

References:

Katy Bugg. Growing Independency and Fluency Lesson Design: Express Your Character.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/bugggf.html

 

Readers' Theater Script:

Hall, Ginny. Readers' Theater Grade 2. Evan-Moor Corp. Monterey, CA. 2003. p 55-59.


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