Tone Teacher Resources

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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.
Stephen Vincent Benet’s, “By the Waters of Babylon,” offers learners a chance to examine the difference between mood and tone. After a close reading of an excerpt from the short story, the class lists the diction and imagery that builds the sense of foreboding. Individuals use the enclosed graphic organizers to repeat the process with a second excerpt. A link to additional pre-AP style learning activities based on Benet’s post-apocalyptic story is included in the richly detailed plan that deserves a place in your curriculum library.
This lesson introduces young scholars to the ways artists use color to set the tone of a painting or to convey a particular mood to the viewer. Students view "The Tragedy" by Pablo Picasso. They fill in an information chart describing the mood or tone of the painting. They discuss the ways certain colors often are used to convey a certain mood or feeling. This is the second of two lessons in this unit.
Poems are meant to be heard. Hearing a poem being read enriches one’s understanding of the tone and mood of the piece. Introduce your class to the sounds of poetry with a packet that not only details how to use poetry recordings in the classroom, but also includes a series of activities that explains how to identify the shifts of tone that occur. Of special value is the Tone List, a handout that lists rich vocabulary words (abashed, blithe, facetious) learners can use to describe the tone of literary works.
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. 
Pupils are often confused by the literary terms tone and voice. Focus on tone by analyzing the poems suggested here, which are all from Words with Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art. While reading through each poem, class members write down their emotional reactions to certain lines, underlining or writing down the lines that bring up those emotions. Looking back on these lines, learners can determine the tone. A model of teacher notes is provided; however, you will need to sign up for a free account.
Zoom into text to understand how just one word adds to the meaning or tone of an entire text. The video demonstrates how to do just this with the article "The Little League World Series' Only Perfect Game" by Jim Morrison. The narrator finds the adjectives, appraises them to determine their contribution to the tone, and sums up the tone in two to three original adjectives. You might pause the video from time to time or show the slides instead as your class works. A quick activity, this could be done before or after reading the article. While the video focuses on a certain article, the strategy could be used for any text. Check out the slides, guided notes, and provided text!
Tone and poetry are closely tied. Show your class how to determine the tone of a poem by noting your reactions and marking lines that bring out feelings. Next, work as a class to work through a second poem. Finally, have individuals read the poem The Alchemist in the City and identify feeling words that make up the tone of the poem. Wrap up by sharing findings. Materials are provided; however, you need to create a free account to access the worksheets.
Figurative language communicates more than just facts, it adds color and depth. Show your class how figurative language and tone are related with this video. The narrator picks several instances of figurative language in "A Pair of Silk Stockings" and illustrates each, asking how the image and tone are related. Pupils can do the same, especially if you pause before the narrator lists her responses, or if you use the presentation instead. A clear way to help learners understand tone, a tricky topic in language arts classes.
Academic writing is characterized by a formal style and tone. Show your writers how to develop and maintain this objective stance with a short video that uses Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” as a text. The narrator models how, during the editing phase of the writing process, to locate informal words and phrases in an essay draft and replace them to create a more appropriate academic tone. The video can be used alone or with the entire series that uses Bierce's short story in each step of the writing process.
High schoolers 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.
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.
Students create a whole tone scale starting on any given pitch using recordings of Debussy "Prelude to 'Afternoon of a Faun'" and "The Cage" by Ives. They also receive photocopied handouts of "The Cage" by Charles Ives.
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.
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. 
Help your learners figure out how W.E.B Du Bois wants them to approach his text, The Souls of Black Folk, by reading the epigraph closely to determine tone. The narrator models how to do so by highlighting repeated and emotional words and phrases. She then determines the tone of these words and comments on why the author would choose an epigraph that conveys this tone. Useful on its own, or as a model for other texts, this resource includes supplementary materials. The narrator's voice is calming; take a listen to make sure it's not too calming for your class.
Discovering the connotative meaning of a text can be a difficult and complex task. The video starts out by displaying a chart for finding the tone. The narrator fills in the chart with details of the imagery, characterization, and setting from "Mrs. Manstey's View," which were covered in previous lessons in the series, and circles the final box in the chart: diction. The goal of the video is to demonstrate how to dig into the text, examine diction, and determine the influence it has on the tone. Class members can follow along as the narrator goes through a section of the text, focusing on the dashes and the purpose of that particular punctuation mark. The provided guided notes offer an additional student activity.
Hamlet’s brutal rejection of Ophelia in Act III, scene 1 of Shakespeare’s tragedy provides learners an opportunity to examine how the author uses tone to develop his theme. To determine the tone, the narrator of this short video looks at the dialogue between Hamlet and Ophelia and their actions in the scene. She models for viewers how close reading and questioning can identify the tonal shifts and how Shakespeare employs these shifts to develop his themes. Part two of a six-part series that uses Hamlet to model comprehension strategies.

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