This week, my students and I have been practicing Reading with Expression, which is one of the easiest ways that I can determine if a student is comprehending what he/she is reading. As we've been practicing whole class readings with excerpts from our books; however, I've noticed that some students are continuing to read without any emotion. To help alleviate this issue, I've centered our reading and journal entries on identifying character's feelings in our texts.
Focus on Feelings
As I normally do on reading days, I give my students 15-20 minutes of reading time with books they've chosen to read (in my class, our reading days are on Thursdays and Fridays). Once their reading time is up, I explain to them that we need to work on improving our Expressive Reading because we're missing the FEELING part in our whole class reading practice.
I model this by reading a passage in monotone from my book The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon. I purposely choose a passage with narration and dialog to remind my students that our pitch should go up when characters are speaking and should drop during narration. In this excerpt, Brent's parents are driving him to a new rehabilitation center. As I read it, I read it in a monotone without any emotion.