Tone and mood can be difficult to determine and to distinguish between, but it is important that students understand the effect that word choice and figuartive language have on a piece of writing. As readers, being able to determine the tone and mood improves overall comprehension; students can better understand the author’s purpose and intent. As writers, understanding how other authors create tone and mood allows students to start to try those same techniques in their own writing. By now, your child should be able to explain to you that tone is the author’s attitude towards the story, characters, or audience, and mood is how the reader feels during or after reading. To connect these terms to the students’ prior knowledge, we talked about how people say things with different tones of voice and how those different tones make us feel.
To look at how authors, or other creators, develop tone and mood, we looked at two different videos. The first was the original trailer for the movie Mary Poppins. The students decided that the tone was proud and the mood what cheerful and excited. Then, we watched a fake trailer, edited to make Mary Poppins seem like a scary movie. The students decided that the tone of the fake trailer was mischievous and the mood was either frightened or amused depending on who was watching it.
As we continue on with tone and mood, we will look at how authors develop tone and mood in both poetry and prose, and the students will have the opportunity to practice developing tone and mood in their own writing.