My, Oh My! It’s Easy as Pie!
Reading with Expression
Rationale – Fluency is a big step for any reader. With fluency, readers are able to comprehend a story and be successful in their reading. There are four main components of fluency: reading faster and smoother than at the beginning stages of reading, reading silently, reading voluntarily, and reading with expression. I believe expression is one of the most important parts of fluency because it adds life and personalization to the text, so this lesson will focus on reading with expression. Through this lesson, students will learn to read with fluency by first identifying what emotion the story is being told with, practice using expression when speaking sentences, and using expression when reading texts.
Materials – Goldilocks and the Three Bears, dry erase board and markers/erasers, sentence strips for teacher to hold up (5), The Three Billy Goats Fluff, copy of expression checklist
Procedures – I will say…
Explain: Today we are going to learn how to read with expression! Expression is the way we use our voice when reading a story. This can mean talking loud, soft, angry, happy, confused, or with any other type of emotion you can imagine. Using expression when you read helps to bring the story alive and make it more interesting for you and your audience. This also helps the audience tell the difference between characters in the book. The first thing we are going to do is listen to the expression in the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Elaborate/Review a Strategy: Before we read, I want us to review how punctuation effects our expression. When we read a sentence with a period, we just read it as if we are having a conversation with a friend. (Write the sentence, “I like to read books.” on the whiteboard). For example, I would read this sentence as a statement, as if I am saying something to my neighbor. “I like to read books.” Notice I don’t say, “I LIKE to READ BOOKS!” With a period, we talk as if we are holding a calm conversation. When we see an exclamation mark, we talk as if we are excited. We speak this statement a little louder and a little harder than a sentence with a period. (Write the sentence, “I love ice cream!” on the whiteboard). I would read this sentence, “I LOVE ICE CREAM!”. My expression shows that this sentence uses an exclamation point by how excited and loud my voice got. Along with that, my face showed expression. My eyes got wide and a big smile was on my face. Last, we make sure to ask a question whenever we use a question mark. I can use expression with a question mark by having a puzzled look on my face and speaking the sentence as if I am really asking the question. (Write the question, “What time is it?” on the whiteboard.) Here, I would speak the statement as if I was really asking, “What time is it?”. And once again, notice how my face shows expression by looking confused. If a person is talking in our story, we can also use expression by reading in the type of voice we think that character has.
Inquire: Now it is time to start reading our story! I am only going to read the first five pages of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and I am going to stop after every sentence. At the end of each sentence, I want you to tell me if I am using expression or not. If I am, tell me what type (excited, sad, happy, etc.) and how you can tell. If I am not, tell me what I can do differently to show expression. (After we read the first five pages, I will ask my students to tell me the difference between when I read with emotion and when I did not.)
Model: Great job identifying expression! Now I am going to model how to read with expression by finishing the story. As we read, sometimes we get tired and stop reading with expression. If you notice I start to do this, I want you to give me your best sad expression. Any questions? (I will purposely start to read without expression to see if my students are paying attention and understand the concept of expression.)
Buddy Practice: Next, I want you to show me how you use expression! I want you to get with your buddy and practice speaking the sentences I hold up on our sentence strips with expression. After each strip, I will say each sentence without expression and then I will have one group share their expression! Any questions? Here’s the first sentence! (My sentences will be: May I go to my friend’s house? I hate spinach! I want to go to the pool. I love to go to Auburn’s football stadium!! How many math problems do we need to finish?)
Practice the Strategy: Now I want us to practice reading a story with expression! With the same partner, I want you to buddy read the story The Three Billy Goats Fluff. This story is about three goats who have to cross a bridge everywhere they go. Under this bridge leaves a horribly mean troll. One day, the troll gets fed up with the goats crossing his bridge and waking him up! The troll threatens to kill and eat the goats! What will the goats do to avoid being eaten? Will they still be able to cross the bridge? You’re your buddy, I want you to find out the answer to these questions! Remember, when we buddy read we use our two-inch voice and read every other page. When you read, remember to pay attention to the punctuation and who is talking to help your expression clues. Let’s also keep in mind that we can use our faces and voices to show expression. (As students read, I will walk around to ensure students are reading with expression and switching off who reads.)
Great job reading with expression! Now what I want you to do is re-read the story with your partner. This time, I want you to fill out your expression checklist for your partner as he or she reads. You will notice that the checklist is on your piece of paper three times. After you completely finish reading your book with expression, I want you to fill out the checklist about yourself! I will come back and fill out the last checklist about you as you read! Any questions?
Did student change if his or her voice was high or low depending on the text?
Did student show change of expression for various types of punctuation?
Did student change voices for different characters?
Did student use facial expressions to help show expression?
Did student use expression throughout the book?
What is one thing this student can do to help his or her expression while reading?
Little Bear, BIG Expression by Teri Crum - http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/adventures/crumgf.htm
Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Written by Caralyn Buehner, published by Penguin Group Incorporated, 2009.
The Three Billy Goats Fluff – Written by Rachael Mortimer, published by Tiger Tales, 2011
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