‘You will never be happy again…’

Purpose

Making decisions about which words and syllables to emphasise supports prosody development, which is an essential component of reading fluency. Considering how a character feels at a key moment also supports reading with expression and reading for meaning. In this lesson, focusing on the moment when the archduke curses Annabelle slows down the reading and allows space to reflect on the emotions he feels at this moment.

Teacher’s note: Three versions of the emotions cards are given in the resources. Use those that work best for the children in your class.
Teacher’s note: You might like to follow this lesson with the Digging Deeper lesson, ‘Filling in the Gaps’

Preparation

  • Copies of Extra Yarn, at least one between two.
  • Prepare copies of the sentence: ‘You will never be happy again!
  • Download, print and cut out emotions cards.

Process

The children are now very familiar with the story, and most of them will be able to read it independently.

in pairs or small groups, have them reread the story from the beginning, taking turns to read and listen (supported reading). Some children may benefit from reading with an adult.

Gather the class.

  • Now that you have read the complete story, what are you thinking?
  • Is there anything that you find strange or puzzling?
  • Do you have any questions that haven’t been answered?

Have a discussion, following the children’s questions and interests.

Direct attention to page 28. – 30 and read aloud. ‘The archduke put on his favourite song…’ to ‘You will never be happy again!”

  • How do you think the archduke feels when he speaks these words?

Use the emotions cards to support the discussion. The emotions cards are useful for equipping children with a vocabulary to enhance the discussion so they don’t just say ‘happy’, ‘sad’ or ‘angry’. This builds and refines children’s emotional vocabulary.

Clarify the meaning of any unknown words.

Ask the children to rank the emotions from the closest match at the top to the least close match at the bottom.

Now read the sentence emphasizing a different word each time, as follows:

You will never be happy again!

You will never be happy again!

You will never be happy again!

You will never be happy again!

You will never be happy again!

You will never be happy again!

Ask:

  • How does changing the emphasis affect the meaning of the sentence?
  • Which version works best, do you think?
  • Does it help us understand the archduke’s feelings?

Some work better than others, but there is more than one answer. The important thing is to get the children to listen, think and explain their thinking.

Final reflection

Ask the children to scan the book and find their favourite pages to read to each other. Ask them to think about which words they emphasize and why.

Finally ask:

  • Do you think your reading has improved?
  • In what way?

Notes

Dhruv and Rayan - Pre teach emotion cards and recognising the emotions. Practical activity