Teaching Tone and Mood - Lesson Plan Ideas and Video
Tone and Mood
How are TONE and MOOD different?
- TONE is the author's attitude
- MOOD is the reader's feelings
Are the two interchangeable? No. However, the two can overlap within a narrative. Regardless, the words that evoke Tone and Mood are usually the same - keyword here is usually.
This would be a good time to bring up DENOTATIVE and CONNOTATIVE meanings.
The word WIMPY is connotative - this reminded me of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid
What does denotative and connotative mean?
- DENOTATIVE is the dictionary meaning of a word
- CONNOTATIVE is the secondary meaning - with tone and attitude
Think about it this way, it's not always what you say, but how you say it.
For example, imagine I have a really slender student named Greg.
- Denotative - Greg is a thin boy.
- Connotative - Dang! Greg is scrawny!
What is the author's tone when he says Greg is scrawny? The author feels Greg is wimpy and weak. Whereas in the denotative sentence, Greg is simply thin.
Tips for remembering... (can be clicked to enlarge)
A character's point of view.
In literary terms tone and mood are a separate, but overlapping entity from characterization. However, can a character display tone? Sure! How about mood? Definitely! Just remember that if you are tested on tone or mood it will be about the author's tone and your mood - unless specified differently.
Characterization is an important element in understanding the overall tone and mood in a narrative. I adamantly encourage my students to connect with the characters in a narrative. I tell them to imagine themselves as the character's best friend. A best friend that feels, worries and cheers on their buddy. This prompts them to emotionally connect with the character. In turn they can personify the character's mood within themselves. Thus, analyzing mood. Who'smood? The character's mood.
This same strategy works for tone as well. Characterization involves analyzing relationships, conflicts and motivations. It is the character's attitude, that defines the outcome in each of those areas. Thus, analyzing tone. Who's tone? The character's tone.
Therefore, analyzing characterization will help the reader connect with tone and mood.
The goal? Having the reader connect, analyze and interpret all three viewpoints - the author's, the character's and the reader's point of view..
Visualization - Picturing Tone and Mood
i am a FIRM believer that a reader needs to visualize the text. Many struggling readers tell me, "why can't we just watch a movie?". This is what prompted me to create my Tone and Mood video a few years ago. I needed to help them visually connect with the text. I tell my students that the beauty of reading is that they get to produce the movie within their own mind.
Materials and Set-up;
- video access / projector
- blank paper for foldable - or create your own (8 columns with 8 headers; scared, angry, sad, confused, mean, romance, friendship and happy - a sample is pictured at the end of this hub)
- list of tone and mood words - a sample is pictured at the end of this hub
- Create a gallery wall - cut 8 pieces of chart paper with the following titles for each; scared, angry, sad, confused, mean, romance, friendship and happy. If possible, add a face or picture next to the title. The face or image should depict each emotion. Tape the chart paper to the wall in different areas of the room.
note; Basic tone and mood categories are happy, angry and sad. I have added the following sub-categories; confused, mean, romance and friendship. Let me explain my reasoning, Mean is an effect of being angry. Therefore, I have added mean and the other elements as an opportunity to include characterization. Why? Tone and mood affects character analysis and in turn supports reading comprehension.
- Tell the students they are going to WATCH a video of words. Each word has a picture symbolizing the emotion. I have embedded my video for you. I created this video with images and sound. These elements add emphasis to the emotional meaning of the word.
- Play the video (the length is just under 5 minutes)
- Discuss the video and the words with your students. What did you like? Can you identify with these words? Did the pictures make sense? Did the music help? Then ask students if they think they can apply visualization when they read. Do you see or feel emotions when you read? Can you picture the settings? Do you see the character's faces? What type of body language shows emotion? Remind your students that they will need to learn to apply their own sensory details when they read.
- Now that you have guided the students through a discussion - ask them if they would like to see the video again. This time instruct them to actively look at the word first and the picture second. This will help them prepare for the next step.
- After the second viewing of the video - place the students in groups and hand them the list of tone and mood words and the foldable. Have them write the words from the list into the appropriate columns. Challenge them to add at least three new words to each column by using a thesaurus.
- Divide the class into 8 groups. Place one group per gallery wall. Give each group 1 minute to place the appropriate words on their gallery wall. After one minute have them rotate to the next gallery wall and repeat the process. Repeat this until the gallery chart paper is filled with the various words. Have one volunteer from each group identify new words that were added from the thesaurus. Discuss what they learned.
- Homework assignment. Students are to find images in newspapers or magazines which symbolize each portion of the gallery wall. Have students glue the images to the appropriate list on the gallery wall.
Ideas - If you have the room to keep the gallery wall up the whole year then go for it! As the year rolls along and students identify new words they can add to the list. This will promote continued awareness and development. You will see their awareness grow with each novel and short story that you read.
Tone and Mood list (click to enlarge)
Tone and Mood Foldable (click to enlarge)
Tone and Mood Wind Chimes
- Choose FOUR primary mood titles
- write the titles on four separate index cards and add a hole punch to the bottom of the card - colored cards make this especially appealing
- tape the cards end to end - tape the last two ends together - forming an open cube
- cut four pieces of yarn, ribbon or string - attach one to each card - attach by looping into the hole punch and tying a knot or taping or gluing to the inside
- on smaller index cards - write the words that correspond to the four primary cards - attach them to the string and work your way down
- Use fishing line to hang your new wind chime
Facial Word chains
- draw or print the faces of the three primary tone and mood words; happy, angry and sad on three separate pages of heavy cardstock. Attach one loop of paper to the bottom of the card stock - I use a stapler and then I cover the stapled area with a small glue strip for reinforcement
- cut out 2" by 8" colored strips of paper. Write the corresponding tone and mood words on the colored strips. Loop the end of a word strip through the original loop and glue or staple the ends together - begin building a word chain with the appropriate words. Students can add to the chain as they discover new words.
Foldables for learning
MissOlive's hubs are written and published by,
marisa hammond olivares, copyright 2011
All rights reserved.
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