Objective: To improve a student's reading fluency and comprehension.
Materials Needed: A computer, microphone and speakers, free Audacity software from http://www.sourceforge.net/ and level appropriate sentences. Complexity of sentence structure will be indicated by individual phonetic recognition, punctuation skills and vocabulary comprehension.
The Reasoning Behind the Lesson: Everyday students of drama perform sentences. They use the drama tools of body, voice, and mind to create characters from the page to the stage. Drama students learn that the most important word in a sentence is not necessarily the subject. The most important, or operative, word can be an adjective or adverb. It depends on the interpretive meaning of the sentence. This lesson plan integrates the use of voice with the written word to aid students in understanding what is read through what is said.
The Lesson Plan: Using Audacity, students record their voice reading sentences. From the simple to the more complex, students will become aware of the reason for punctuation as they realize the need for pauses, fluency and inflection. They make sentences meaningful as they hear the most important (operative) word. Teachers increase sentence complexity as student recognition of grammatical, fluency and comprehension skills increase.
Reflection: As a secondary drama teacher, I have experienced how drama positively impacts literacy. Students at all reading levels benefit from interpreting the written word through performance. Drama impacts all students including those with learning disablities and special needs. The results are realized in daily performance and assessments in language arts classes, standardized short assessment tests and mandated state and national evaluations.
Audacity provides all students a way to vocally perform the written word in an environment where the audience is limited to the students and the teacher. Teachers are given an incredibly easy-to-use tool . The results of Audacity's use can be authentically realized as meaning is sucessfully, vocally interpreted through the understanding of why words are used and how sentences are structured.