Studying Tone

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SWBAT: define and understand tone, and speak with different tones to convey specific attitudes.

Big Idea

After reading "The Millionaire Miser," students will play an engaging tone performance game.

Guiding Question

5 minutes

Tone is something that I don't generally address with my regular class. With my struggling readers, in my Response to Intervention class, we work on aspects of fluency, so tone is explicitly taught. However, one of the exercises in this unit has a Reader's Theatre performance, and my students need a lot of help with tone. When I started thinking about them reading a play out loud, I was imagining Ben Stein saying, "Bueller...Bueller..."

This Guiding Question gets the students to begin thinking that tone can actually affect meaning. If they are unable to reach that conclusion in the Guiding Question, then they will certainly get there throughout the lesson.


50 minutes

Students read The Millionaire Miser and marked for understanding. When I say this, they understand they need to annotate and mark words that may be unfamiliar, and jot down questions or connections as they read. This is the time that my collaborative teacher will pull in some kids for a small group reading, and I'll circulate to see what kids are doing as far as annotations.

When they  finished reading, they answered the comprehension questions that preceded the story. I don't generally give comprehension questions after reading a text like this, but in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about state testing that's around the corner, and how this format is actually pretty similar.

When I felt confident that everyone had a solid understanding of the text, I distributed the tone game. I placed these different sentence strips in an envelop and gave one to each table. The students had to read the strip using the required tone. Here is how that looked: