Mini-Lesson Freebie: Read Aloud Voices

I cannot even express how much we love these Mr. Panda 🐼 books. They are *so perfect* for reading in a variety of fun voices (besides teaching about manners). For example, the whale and octopus can have “underwater” voices and we like to imagine that the ostrich has a really high-pitched voice. Obviously reading these stories to toddlers is so much fun but these make for GREAT practice for older students! 

Super Simple Mini-Lesson: 

  1. Read the students one of the Mr. Panda stories using a monotone voice (same for all characters).

  1. Ask the students if they think there is anything that can be done to make the story sound more interesting to listeners.

  1. Give the students time to brainstorm the voices that they think best fit each character. 

  1. Ask the students to partner up to practice reading with different voices- soft, loud, high-pitched, deep, underwater, or with a sassy attitude!  Anything appropriate (accents can get dicey and easily offensive) that they think fits the character! Encourage them to split up the lines. 

  1. There are usually a handful of students who especially enjoy reading in different voices, so I always end this practice by asking for volunteers to play each part and we do a performance in front of the whole class because it is so much fun to be silly and just enjoy a great book together!

  1. Wrap up the practice by asking your students if it was more enjoyable to listen to the story with different voices.  Encourage them to practice reading in their head in the same way!

Bonus Material: In Please, Mr. Panda, Steve Antony chooses only to include characters that are black and white in color. In Thank You, Mr. Panda, he uses characters that are all gray and white.  See if your students can identify this commonality on their own!