Tone Teacher Resources
Find Tone educational ideas and activities
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No color, no images, no sound. Just words on paper. How then, do writers convey the tone of a piece? By carefully selecting the words they use to create an impression in the minds of readers. After all, "Don't come back, Jack" expresses a very different sentiment than "Sorry, I'm not interested." This short video models for viewers how word choice affects tone.
Good grief? Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Grief" and Emily Dickinson's "After great pain, a formal feeling comes" are the focus of a series of close reading activities that ask groups to compare the point of view and tone of these two poems on the same subject. Groups highlight examples of literary devices and figurative language in the two poems and discuss how the poets use these elements to develop the tone of their poems.
How are mood and tone similar? Different? Help your readers understand the difference between the two with this helpful guide. On the first page, they read the definition for both tone and mood and identify words that are describe each. On the second page, they put their knowledge to work on seven examples. For each, they list the tone, mood, and context clues that helped them arrive at the decision.
What's the difference between tone and mood? Clear up the confusion with an excellent reference sheet and activity. Middle school writers interpret two lists of adjectives that describe mood, or atmosphere of the work, tone, or the way feelings are expressed. They then study seven sentences for their tones, moods, and the context clues that reveal each.
Students identify color schemes in paintings and discuss the ways in which color is used to convey a mood or tone in a work of art.
Explore figurative language with your secondary class. Extending a language arts unit, the lesson prompts middle schoolers to examine how an author's word choice establishes a story's tone, possibly using metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and personification. They can then develop their own plots using figurative language.
Gentle sleep eludes poor King Henry IV. Uneasy under the weight of his responsibilities, Henry contemplates the darkness of the night and in his soul. To develop their skill reading difficult text, class members engage in a close reading of King Henry's soliloquy from Act III, scene i of King Henry IV, Part II. Groups examine how Shakespeare's syntax and diction choices develop the tone and meaning of King Henry's soliloquy. The carefully crafted resource packet, a must for your curriculum library, includes explicit instructions, links to all necessary materials, and assessments.
The second lesson of a pair about Paul Laurence Dunbar, this plan focuses in particular on his poem, "We Wear the Masks." After a short historical introduction, class members conduct a series or readings, marking up the text and discussing literary elements such as imagery, tone, and personification. The final evaluation combines what pupils have learned about this poem, as well as the poem they studied in the previous lesson.
Students listen carefully to a portion of the Poetry Out Loud CD. They focus on the tones the poet uses in his recitation of a poem. Then they map a poem of their own so that a classmate can read it using the tonal qualities intended by the student author.
Students examine how artists use color to set the tone of a painting. They analyze and discuss various paintings, complete a chart comparing the artists' color schemes and tones, and write a paragraph comparing two images.
If you have Microsoft's Photo Story 3 or Macintosh's iMovie software, you can use it to teach about tone and mood. First, display the positive images listed with calm, classical music in the background. Then, with the same music, show harsher images. Ask your class what they feel the difference in tone is. Using digital cameras, learners work in groups and take pictures based on an assigned tone. The photos are put together in presentation on Photo Story or iMovie to visually portray tone.
Satire and tone are difficult concepts for high schoolers to fully comprehend. Luckily, Mark Twain was an expert of satire, and learners still find his work interesting today. Use chapter 13 of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to illustrate both tone and satire, and how they go hand in hand. Eleventh graders read the chapter and discuss a series of comprehension questions.
Eighth graders define tone and determine the tone of a particular passage making a web of tone words on Inspiration. They write a journal entry expressing how a piece of music makes them feel and create a PowerPoint to share.
Read The Giver to examine mood and tone in relation to word meanings and definitions. Young scholars locate definitions, synonyms, and antonyms for words related to mood and tone. Extend the lesson to include a focus on music and art.
Students observe examples of writing and discuss the tone. After reading "The Bells" by Edgar Allen Poe, and discussing each stanza, students discuss ways to strengthen the tone and create another version. They rewrite a stanza, share their poem with the class and discuss better ways to express the tone.
Students experience several different tone colors in the song and also add layers of color to their copy of "The Owl" to compare and contrast how an artist would create the element of color.
In this setting, tone, and mood worksheet, students underline the words that reveal the setting in 5 excerpts from Act I of "Julius Caesar." Students also explain the tone Shakespeare uses to create mood.
Students investigate the components of musical tone and the effects that proper posture, embouchure, breath support, attack, sustain, and release, and hand positions have on this quality of music.
Students define the term "tone color", identify the various types of saxophones visually and based on the sounds that they make, and explain the differences in sound between the various types of saxophones.