Standards and Objective
Reading aloud in unison with a group helps build fluency and increases self-confidence and motivation. This choral reading activity can help children practice fluency as they develop effective styles for reading poetry aloud to convey emotion and meaning.
- A highly visible copy of the poem and/or individual copies for each child
- The Best Known and Loved Mother Goose
- The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
- I am Phoenix
- I Love You Because You’re You
- Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
- The Monster
Choose a poem, such as “The Monster,” or a poem that most children can read independently. Listen to “The Monster” and discuss the presentation. What kind of oral expressions did the reader use? For example, did she pause when reading the poem? Was it read too quickly or too slowly? Write the poem down for the group to see the words and then carefully listen to it again paying attention to how the reader uses her voice to express emotion. After listening, talk about what the poem is about and what kinds of emotions are conveyed.
Have all children read the poem aloud in unison with the same expression as the reader. Then read the poem aloud to the children again, this time expressing a different emotion, such as fear. See if children can identify the emotion. Ask them how it made the poem different. Invite them to read it in unison again, this time expressing fear. Continue to model for the children by reading the poem aloud with different expressions and emotions, followed by a choral reading by all children using the modeled emotion.
Extensions and Variations
Ask each child to imagine The Monster and what it looks like. Also have them think about the other monsters The Monster is scaring away. How many other monsters are there? What do they look like? Have children create character trading cards for each monster they imagine. They should illustrate each card and include details about the monster pictured, such as a name for the monster, what it likes to eat (socks, cookies, etc.) and its special characteristics—such as invisibility, power of flight, etc. Give children the opportunity to share their cards with others and brainstorm possible games to play using the cards.
As children become comfortable with choral reading, an authentic performance goal can get children excited about repeated reading and provide them with a sense of accomplishment. Invite an audience to listen to your children read/perform a poem or story.
Fluency is the ability to read, speak, or write easily, smoothly, and expressively. The titles on Tales2go provide models of fluent reading for students who are developing this skill as they become more proficient and independent readers themselves. As listeners are exposed to appropriate expression, emphasis, and pronunciation in the stories they hear, students develop a deeper understanding of how language works, which assists them in becoming fluent readers. Listening to Tales2go selections recorded by storytellers, authors, and professional narrators also helps students develop an emotional connection the story, in a way that listening to other “text to speech” versions cannot, which can motivates children to read more on their own.