Expression Skits

There are a variety of ways to make reading aloud with children fun. One way is to read with lots of expression. Here is a fun and entertaining exercise to practice using expression in your voice.

  1. Model a sentence like the one below to show how the meaning of a sentence can be changed by emphasizing a particular word. Model the sentence again while, for example, pretending to cry. Again, although you’re saying the very same words, the implied message has changed.

    Mary had a little lamb.” “Mary had a little lamb.”
    “Mary had a little lamb.” “Mary had a little lamb.”

  2. As a group, repeat the dialogue below. Keep a neutral, expressionless tone. Repeat the dialogue a few times until everyone seems to know it.

    A: Hi, how are you?
    B: Fine, thank you. And you?
    A: Just great. What have you been doing lately?
    B: Oh, not much. But I've been keeping busy.
    A: Well...it's been good to see you.
    B: Yes, it has...well, bye!
    A: Goodbye.

  3. Match everyone into pairs and give each pair a situation. For example, two people who have met before but can’t remember where, or two people who are angry with each other. Use your imagination!
  4. Each pair will repeat the dialogue from above, but will use gestures, body language and the expression of their voice to convey the situation.
  5. The others in the group guess at what the situation might be.
a sad face, a really happy face, a grumpy face, a happy face, an angry face