Books Show Emotion Just Like You!

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

By Elizabeth Smith

acting,comedies,comedy and tragedy,drama masks,dramas,emotions,entertainment,masks,performances,performing arts,plays,symbols,theater masks,theaters,tragedies


Rational: Reading is fun for children when they can read not only smoothly but with expression as well. When children have to fumble through to sound out most every word they lose their desire to read. Because of frustrations they will lose the opportunity to learn how to read fluently. This lesson is designed to help children practice reading with expression so they can see reading is fun!


Materials: Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish; 4 pages of drawing paper; markers, crayons, or colored pencils; and different parts of the book pre-selected for different expressions to practice.  



1. To begin this lesson I will start talking to the class in a monotone voice. “Do you think I’d be a boring teacher if I always talked like this? You would never know how I felt if I talked like this all the time. When we talk we use expression to convey our emotions to each other. Authors write the same way we talk! They don’t want their characters to be boring. If their characters didn’t have emotion they wouldn’t act like we do in real life. Authors write with expression so we can understand the emotions being expressed. Good readers read with expression! Let’s practice!

2. Write a sentence on the board, “What are you doing?” Ask the students to see how many different ways we could read this sentence. Call on different students to read with different expressions. (use name sticks to call on students)

3. Start talking about the way people’s faces would look for each expression. “I’m going to hand out 4 pieces of drawing paper to each of you. You are going to draw 4 different expressions, one on each page.” Walk around to ensure students stay on task. You can display the students’ work on the walls under each expression being displayed.

4. Selected readings from Amelia Bedelia: excitement- page 22, confusion- page 25, fear- page 32, anger- page 48. Break students up into groups so the students can practice expressive reading. Each group will have a reading with a specific expression to practice. They will practice for about 15 minutes and then each group will present their expressive readings to the class.

5. Using the book, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, the teacher will model expressive reading aloud to the class. A short book talk will be used due to the fact the expressive reading practice earlier used passages from the book. “Amelia Bedelia is hired as a house keeper and just cannot seem to follow instructions correctly. What do you think will happen?” then introduce your passage to the class, “I would like to share with y’all one of my favorite passages from this book it’s on page 58. What feelings do you think the author wanted the book to have in this part? Use your pictures you drew earlier to tell me what you think by holding it up. Yes that is right! Good job!”

6. To assess whether the students are understanding fluency, each student will read a passage from Amelia Bedelia out loud for the class. The class will hold up the emotion drawing that they think is being portrayed through the expressive reading. The teacher can take notes on the passage and the class’s responses to the readings.



Amelia Bedelia. Peggy Parish. First Scholastic Printing. New York. 1993.

Troha, Debbie “Books Have Feelings Too!” Reading Genie:

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