Watch your tone!

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SWBAT identify language used to express tone.

Big Idea

Students struggle through complex text to understand author's tone. How can knowing an author's tone affect your understanding?

Advanced Organizer

7 minutes

To get the students understanding the concept of tone and style, I want the students to understand it from a practical point of view. 

Use the second slide of the Power Point to discuss the questions.  The slide asks the students to compare an email to a friend verses and email to a public official.  How would they differ in writing? What words would be used in each one?  What qualities might we want to convey in each one? 

This will help the students see that we use two basic styles of writing; informal and formal.  We have a purpose for using each style.  This will help the students understand style and tone and how authors develop tone by the language that is used. 

Instruction/Guided Practice

20 minutes

Tone and Style are both extremely important concepts for the students to understand when we are working with text.  It helps us understand an author's purpose as well as to understand an author's perspective on a topic. 

First, I need the students to understand what each concept is before asking them to analyze text.  I will use the power point and the Guided Notes to give the students the basic definition and knowledge needed to practice the concepts.  The students will complete the guided notes as I work through the power point. 

The power point also contains small passages the students can use to start analyzing.  I will use the first passage for each concept to model how I identified style and tone.  I will interact with the text on the board demonstrating how I used the author's formal or informal style as well as the vocabulary to identify the authors style and tone. 

I will have students attempt the second passage for each concept in the groups.  I will display the passage, read it aloud and then ask the students to discuss and come up with a consensus for their response.  I will ask one student per group to report out.  By allowing them the guidance of their groups, I'm still giving them a little of that release to think about on their own, but providing them with some support so they do not drown.  

I will discuss and share the students responses as a class. 

Finally, there is an activity in the power point that asks the students to match up lower level vocabulary words that could be used to describe tone with higher level words.  I will have the students work on this with their groups as well.  This again provides release but also a small level support.  They can use dictionaries to define any unknown words. 

I'll work my way around to each group to assess their learning and understanding. 

Independent Practice

10 minutes

To reinforce this skill, I will have the students work on Reinforcement 3.10.  This exercise provides the student with additional practice and is something I can use for an assessment.  Tone and style is something we will repeatedly come back to, but a quick assessment will determine how much time is needed to drive the concept before I can move on. 

I will allow the students 10 minutes to get started on it, then the rest of it is homework. 

Literature Groups

20 minutes

In our literature groups today, I am going to have the students work on a more complex text to use for tone and style.  The novel we are reading is too difficult and doesn't quite fit the needed resource, so I am supplementing with a story from the student's textbook titled "The Origin of the Seasons".  This story is a myth written to explain the Ancient Greeks' beliefs about how the seasons came to be. 

The myth uses a formal style, large vocabulary, and very descriptive language which all contribute to the tone.  As the students read the story within their literature groups, I will have them working to identify the tone.  They will be annotating the text as they read. 

I will work with the lower groups guiding their annotations, and checking in with my higher students. 

Even if the students do not finish the story or the annotations, they will be able to identify the tone within the first page or so. 

Have the students discuss their annotations as they go along.  This will help any struggling students see the thinking process of their peers. 


7 minutes

To assess my students' learning and to help them process the concepts, I am going to ask them to complete a Closure Slip.  I ask the students to tell me what style and tone are and how they are used in writing.  

I am really expecting the students to struggle with defining these two terms.  They seem to struggle overall with the concept and for them to write their own definitions is asking a lot.  I may need to prompt or give them a choice.  

I though about doing more of an application closure for this as well.  Rather than seeing if they can recall definitions, I really want to know if they can apply the terms.