Tools for the Field

Choral ReadingOral-Reading Rubric

Choral Reading


Purpose

This activity gives you experience using choral reading for oral-reading practice.

Procedures

If you’re working in a school, find a classroom with four or more students who read at or above the third-grade level. Ask the teacher if you can practice doing a choral-reading activity with those students. If you’re not working in a school, perhaps you can find an after-school program or community center where you can try it. This activity can be done with just three or four students or a whole classroom. After you complete the activity, answer the questions at the end.

  1. Read the two poems by Christina Rossetti and Robert Louis Stevenson. Choose the one you think would work better with the group of students who will do the choral reading.
  2. Read that poem to yourself several times. Read it silently and then out loud. Read it over and over until you know it very well and can read it fluently and expressively.
  3. Make one copy of the poem for each student.
  4. Read it aloud to the group of students at least twice. First, ask them just to listen, without looking at their copies. Next, read it aloud again. Ask the students to read along silently and track the words and pauses with their fingers as you read.
  5. Ask all students in the group to read the whole poem aloud with you at least a couple of times.
  6. Select students to read different parts of the poem. Show them which parts are theirs. Ask them to highlight or underline the parts they’re supposed to read.

Have them practice the poem until they can read it fluently and expressively as a group.

The Rainbow
by Christina Rossetti

All students read the title
One student reads who wrote the poem

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;

Girls read this line and the next

But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier than these.

Boys read these two lines

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these

Girls read these two lines

All read the next four lines


The Wind
by Robert Louis Stevenson

All students read the title
One student reads who wrote the poem

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass —
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

One or two students read the first two lines

One or two students read this line and the next

All students read this line and the next

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all —
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

One or two students read the first two lines

One or two students read this and the next line

All students read this and the next line

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

One or two students read the first two lines

One or two students read this and the next line

All students read the last two lines

Questions

Answer the following questions to reflect on your choral-reading experience. If you’re working on this unit with others, discuss your answers together.

  1. Did the choral reading interest the students and keep their attention? If not, what might be done differently to keep them more actively involved?
  2. In what ways did the choral reading help the students practice oral reading?
  3. What were the disadvantages or problems with the choral reading?
  4. Was the poem a good choice for the group? If not, what kind of poem might have been better?
  5. Did the choral-reading practice and poem work well for some students but not for others? If so, what were some reasons?

Oral-Reading Rubric


Purpose

This guide can help you score students’ oral reading. It covers the important parts of fluent, expressive oral reading, namely:

  • Accuracy: saying the word correctly.
  • Pace: the speed at which the passage is read.
  • Phrasing: pausing, slowing down and speeding up, and grouping words together to help show meaning.
  • Voicing: volume (loudness or softness) and pitch (how high or low the voice is).
  • Naturalness: reading in a way that matches the meaning so well that it sounds as if it were being spoken instead of read.

Instructions

Step 1: Listen to a student read a passage from a book or handout that’s at the right reading level for the student.

Step 2: When the student comes to a word he or she can’t say, help him or her say the word correctly.

Step 3: As the student reads, listen carefully to the accuracy with which he or she says the words as well as the reading pace, phrasing, voicing, and the naturalness of his or her reading.

Step 4: You may need to tell the student and/or the teacher your thoughts about the student’s oral-reading performance. You can use the scoring guide in the following table to evaluate or make notes about the student’s reading.

First, read the rubric on the next page so you can use it easily. Read each box to see what it takes for the student’s performance to be rated as Excellent, Good, Fair, or Needs Improvement. Then, make a check mark or write notes in the box under the description that best matches the student’s reading. Do this for each part of oral reading: accuracy, pace, phrasing, voicing, and naturalness. Go over your notes and find the areas where the student is strong and where he or she isn’t so strong.