Growing Independence and Fluency
Rationale: Comprehension is the end goal of reading. In order to achieve comprehension, readers must become fluent. One aspect of becoming fluent is to read expressively. This lesson will use modeling, rereading, an expression game, and partner work to help students achieve the goal of reading with expression.
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that reading with expression is one way we as readers can make text come to live. Expression is the way our voice naturally moves up and down as we talk. Today, we are going to work on reading expressively!
2. Ask students: Have you ever listened to someone reading a story and felt the way the character felt? Maybe you felt sad when the character felt sad, or happy like the character? This is because the reader was reading with expression. Let me show you what I mean. My mom said I could have ice cream, but I quickly realized we didn't have any! (model sentence first in a monotone voice, then in a very sad voice, then in an exasperated tone) Could you tell a difference in the way I felt when I said that sentence? That's because I was speaking expressively. Now I want you to try. First, you will say the sentence without any expression, then you will say it really sad! (Allow each student to say the sentences) Great job!!
3. One thing we have to think about when we are reading is punctuation. When we see an exclamation point we know that we are supposed to read very excited. Periods let us know we should pause at the end of the sentence. A comma is a short breath in a sentence. Let's practice using our punctuation to read with expression. (Students will take out their copy of Click Clack Moo the book).
4. We are going to read the first four pages of this book using punctuation to guide how we speak. Remember, when you get to a period, you will take a breath. An exclamation point shows we are excited! (Students will all read the pages together.) Great job!
5. Now we are going to finish reading the book silently. I am going to walk around and listen to you read silently. When I squat down beside you, I want you to whisper read so only I can hear you. (Students read while teacher individually assesses their reading). Now that we have all read the book once, we are going to practice our reader's theater script! Each one of you will have a part and have to practice your part with expression. This means you will have to read your parts over and over again until you read it like you would speak in a conversation with a friend. Let me show you what I mean. "At f-f-irst, he coo-could-couldn't believe his air-ers-ears. Cows that type? Immm-posssss-ible!! That was a little choppy. Maybe I should read it again. (Teacher reads the second time with spaces between each word) At first, he couldn't believe his ears. Cows that type? Impossible! That was still a little slow. Let me try again. (Teacher reads this time with espression) At first, he couldn't believe his ears. Cows that type? IMPOSSIBLE!"
6. Students will be given a script with their part already highlighted. Teacher will instruct students to practice their parts by reading them over and over again. When every student has read their part at least four times, the students will perform the reader's theater. Great job!
7. Now we are going to play a game that will allow us to practice reading with different expressions. Each one of you should choose one of your lines from the play. This will be your sentence you will use for the game. Now, we are going to move around the circle and let each one of you roll the dice. Whatever expression the dice lands on, you will read your line with that mood. Lets get started! (Teacher will watch the students play the game and informally assess their ability to read expressively). You all did a great job!!
8. For assessment, students will get into pairs with their partner checklists. Students will take turns reading the book Click Clack Moo with expression while their partner checks off their accomplishments.
Cummings, Amanda. (2007). Is That EXPRESSION I Hear?. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/cummingsgf.html.