4th Grade - Using Volume, Pitch, Phrasing, Pace, And Gestures

Speaking and Listening
Using volume, pitch, phrasing, pace, and gestures
Use volume, pitch, phrasing, pace, modulation, and gestures appropriately to enhance meaning.
The ability to use speaking strategies of volume/intonation/pitch, phrasing/fluency, pace/speed, modulation and gestures at appropriate times when speaking in order to enhance meaning of the message or presentation.

Sample Problems


What is modulation? (the rhythmic tone of the voice – how you change intonation)


What does it mean to be accurate in your phrasing? (to speak fluently, with very few or no errors, or mistakes, smoothly)


What is pacing? (to read at an appropriate speed, or pace)


What is intonation? (the pitch and loud, clear voice volume for all to hear)


What is expression? (enthusiastic demonstration of emotions, thoughts, and feelings)

Learning Tips


Get Readers’ Theatre scripts online (Aesop’s Fables are great - http://www.aesopfables.com/) or make your own. Assign roles and practice theatrical skills of reading loud and clear with expression!


Google® your favorite television show or series. Look for sample (even parts of) scripts. Practice dramatizing the scene like you saw it on television or add your own twist! If you can’t find scripts or want to move on, write your own scripts to act out for fun!


Be a “copycat” – practice emulating, or imitating, someone for five minutes. See if you can copy their diction, expression, intonation, etc. as accurately as possible. See if you can last the entire 5 minutes!


Reread and reread stories you have already read until you master them and can retell parts of them without looking at the text. If you don’t have books available, go to your local library! The experience of reading a book out loud is significantly different from reading silently, and can be a lot of fun!


Read eBooks online – you can see pictures, hear audio, and sometimes both! A list of various links is at: http://kids.nypl.org/reading/Childrensebooks.cfm

Great examples at:

ICDL - International Children's Digital Library and

Highlights Kids Story Player

Extra Help Problems


What are gestures? (often known as “talking with hands”, moving body parts as you speak, including facial expressions, etc.)


How can you enhance the meaning of a spoken message? (pause, increase volume, raise the pitch of your voice, point, speak slowly or quickly, etc.)


How do you emphasize a pause when speaking? (clear your throat, look away, count 3 seconds, etc.)


How can you portray excitement when speaking? (raise voice, raise eyebrows, open eyes, smile, clap, etc.)


How do you pose a question mark when speaking? (show a “lift” in the voice pitch at the end of the sentence)


How can keywords in dialogue help you figure out how to read a sentence or phrase? (with dialogue, context like “Mom screamed,” VS “Mom whispered,” tells you to say the dialogue very differently)


How can contextual clues help you figure out how to read a sentence or phrase? (for example, knowing the setting changes your intonation and expression – e.g. in a library people are quiet but in a lunchroom at school there is lots of noise to talk over)


What do long vowels sound like? (exactly like how we say the vowels when we recite the alphabet- A,E,I,O,U)


What do short vowels sound like? (some vowel have more than one short sound and sometimes they sound like each other – e.g. short /u/ and short /a/)


What are positive, or helpful, presentation gestures? (head nodding, good posture with body open to the audience, relaxed gestures with hands like a thumbs up, facial expressions, tilting head to side, etc.)


What are different hand gestures? (thumbs up - good, thumbs down - bad, stop, come, etc.)


What are real-life examples of visual (things you can see) modulations? (music beats, heart monitors for pulse, radio frequencies, graphs and charts, earthquake seismograph results, etc.)


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