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Reading with Expression: 5 Teaching Tips and a Free Printable

If you’re looking for some great ways to teach your child to read with expression, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to download a fun printable activity and then read our top five tips.

Let’s start with “Round Up the Sheep.” It’s a great way to start practicing expressive reading!

Download Round Up the Sheep

Sometimes the same words can take on a completely different meaning if you say them with a different expression. For example, if you’re afraid of cats, you would use a frightened voice to say, “Look! A cat!” But if you love cats, you would use a happy, excited voice to say, “Look, a cat!” This activity is a fun way to practice this concept.

Preparing the “Round Up the Sheep” Activity

  1. Download the “Round Up the Sheep” Activity.
  2. Print and cut out the sheep cards, following the instructions in the activity download.
  3. Place the cards in a pile with the sheep facing up.
  4. Now let’s practice reading with expression!

Play “Round Up the Sheep”

Have your child choose a card from the pile. The word printed above the sheep indicates the expression with which your child should read the sentence on the back of the card.

A child's hand holding a game piece

Now have your child flip the card over to read the sentence using the indicated expression.

The back of a game piece

Continue until all the cards have been read.

Game pieces on a table

5 More Ways to Teach Kids to Read with Expression

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Have Fun with Emojis

Can you read this sentence—“I miss the smell of ham,” said Dan—like an angry emoji would? Download Fun with Emojis and have a ton of fun reading like an emoji in this somewhat “emotional” activity!

7 Ways to Make Spelling Logical - from All About Spelling

Model Expressive Reading

One of the very best ways to help your little robot improve his reading is to model expressive reading while reading aloud to your children. Need picture book ideas? We’ve got you covered! Download our Picture Book Library Lists.

Read Decodable Books

Decodable books like the ones used in All About Reading feature stories that flow easily and naturally, allowing beginning readers to read more smoothly and comprehend text more easily.

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Use Buddy Reading

Also called partner reading or paired reading, buddy reading is a great way to model reading for your child, allowing him to hear and imitate expressive reading. Learn more in this Buddy Reading article.

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Encourage Reading Fluency

Does your child read like a robot? This post is chock full of valuable tips that will help your child read with meaningful expression. Explore topics like decoding skills, reading vocabulary, phrasing, and character dialogue.

Have you discovered a great way to encourage expressive reading? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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Moya Stewart

says:

Great ideas that can be used for a range of age groups.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Moya!

Dorcas Ekupe

says:

Wow I enjoyed every bit of information here

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Dorcas! 😊

Martha

says:

Thanks for all these great ideas and activities!

Angelina

says:

Great ideas through play approach. They enjoy the fun.

Stephanie knaus

says:

Every night, I sit and read a bed time story to my littles. They avsolutly love it when mom uses ” funny voices” and expression to read. My oldest tries really hard to do expressive reading, but she feels it’s not as fun as when mom does it. I think these activities will be a great tool in helping here learn how to read with emotion, and boost her confidence!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stephanie,
I love when little ones try to read with funny voices and good expression. It’s so cute and it means they understand the importance of it! This game and practice are all that your child will need.

Christina

says:

Thanks for so many fun ideas! Kids love anything you can turn into a game. This is no exception.

Meghan Taylor

says:

I love all of your activities to go along with the All About Reading lessons we are doing!

Crystal

says:

Great ideas here!

Kirti Chauhan

says:

Great can I download it for free?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, Kirti. The Round-Up the Sheep activity is free to download.

Maria Basilice

says:

This looks like a great tool!

Annette O'Donnell

says:

Wonderful ideas!

Liza Sanchez

says:

Very helpful for me and my daughter, I need more ideas and motivation.

Theresa

says:

I think my 6 year old will especially like the fun with Emojis. The sheep game sounds awesome. Putting feeling into reading is something that we work on as a whole family

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Theresa,
Working on reading with expression together as a family is great. Modeling expressive reading shows little ones how to do it themselves.

Dusti Brister

says:

Great ideas.

Melissa Diffenderfer

says:

This is so helpful! We just started using All About Spelling this year and love it!

Kelly

says:

Thank you so much for this. It will be very useful.

Jaime L. Hendrickson

says:

Your resources always make our homeschool days joyful!

Hollie

says:

Love this idea!

Renae B

says:

Thank you for this resource. I plan on using this for my son that is currently using AAR and my son that is finished with AAR. We have discussed recently how authors show the emotions of a character by choosing descriptive words rather than just using “said” when writing dialogue.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Discussions like this are so important for improving comprehension, Renae! Thanks for mentioning it.

Karen

says:

This is great. It’s hard for some kids to learn to read expressively

Caryn Gillette

says:

What a fun way to practice reading with expression. Books come to life when we can learn to do this well!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Caryn. Reading with expression is so important, but it is also quite fun!

Edith S

says:

Thanks so much for all your help and the printables. Your help is invaluable! 🙂

Catherine Hartel

says:

We love all of your resources. Thank you!

Kendra

says:

Looks like fun

Erin

says:

Thank you for all the free ideas and activities. My kids really enjoy them.

Becky K

says:

Love seeing all the ideas to incorporate.

Kimberly

says:

All of these series are wonderful.

Jen

says:

Great activities!!

Megan LoPiccolo

says:

Love all of the great ideas and activities that you share!!

Jennifer

says:

Such great ideas! I can’t wait to give them a try!!

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