Teaching the mtv of literary analysis

Understanding tone in literature is critical lớn fully understanding and enjoying what you are reading. But because it is not a “tangible” aspect of literature, it is a very hard concept for students khổng lồ learn.

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So how vì we effectively teach tone in literature? I spent a good amount of time researching the best ways to lớn teach students concepts of teaching tone in literature that would allow them khổng lồ comprehover the nuances. And I came up with this list of 10 golden rules for teaching tone in literature: 1. Clearly define tone in literature.2. Give sầu students a foundational menu lớn inspire their ability to lớn identify “tone words.”3. Guide students in pulling out the tone words in a piece of literature.4. Demonstrate how tone can and often does change in literature.5. Show students how the same piece of literature can show very different tones.6. Whenever possible, include physical props khổng lồ help demonstrate non-physical aspects of tone in literature.7. Have sầu students create their own literature with an emphasis on what they have sầu learned about tone in literature.8. Use a variety of literature genres to allow the students khổng lồ recognize that tone in literature is universal.9. Start with more obvious tonal cues in literature and work toward the more subtle ones until your students are adept at identifying tone in any passage.10. Make sure students understvà the difference between tone and mood in literature.


So now that you have sầu the quiông chồng answer, let’s go ahead và unpachồng exactly what each one of these rules for teaching tone in literature consists of.

Table of Contents


1. Clearly Define Tone in Literature

Every concept we teach must have sầu a clear definition that our students can build a foundation on. In the case of defining tone in literature, students can have a difficult time comprehending exactly what we are teaching. Because of its abstract nature, students who think in terms of “black và white” will have a hard time nailing this one down.We can help make this a more tangible concept for them with a great definition backed up with some great examples.According lớn literarydevices.com, the definition of tone in literature is the attitude or approach that the author takes toward the work’s central theme or subject.You must be careful that your students vày not confuse the author’s attitude or approach for the readers’ thoughts toward the author’s attitude or approach–that is the mood of literature. Giving them some comparisons using a fairly easy piece of literature should help with this. I will also cover it in a bit more detail in Rule #10.Here is a beautiful printable poster that you can print up for your classroom. You can clichồng on it lớn print it in full poster size or you can fit to page & h& it out lớn your students to vì with as they wish. I think you will find it a great help in teaching tone in literature in your classroom.

Xem thêm: Oxford Encyclopedia Of British Literature, Oxford Research Encyclopedia Of Literature


2. Give Students a Foundational List to lớn Inspire Their Ability to Identify Tone Words

If you were to make a các mục of every word that identifies tone, there would not be enough room or time khổng lồ cover it all. But that is actually a great thing! If you start with a foundational danh mục, you can then add more words lớn this list on a regular basis with your students. I have provided a printable starting các mục that you can use to lớn get you started. I also included a blank one for you to lớn add more words with your class.You can print it up as a full kích thước poster or fit to lớn page khổng lồ make it a worksheet và reference page.



The more you build on this danh mục with your students, the more they will be able lớn identify them on their own over time. It is awesome when one of the students hears a word và recognizes it as a tone word in a completely random conversation. That’s when we teachers know we have sầu successfully taught the concept!

3. Guide Students in Pulling Out the Tone Words in a Piece of Literature

When teaching tone in literature, I always start with a super easy piece of literature so the concept will be obvious khổng lồ the students. My usual go-khổng lồ to introduce the concept is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It has both tone from the author và so much mood from Max as well as his mom. That makes this not only a great opener for the concept but also a great way to lớn teach the difference between tone and mood.As for the tone aspects, the author shows irritation, excitement, resolve, và restoration. There are many more tones that you can draw out as you get inkhổng lồ details.Discussing the events of the book & why Maurice Sendak chose lớn write about them will help your students pull out lots of different ideas. And it will be easier for them to recognize these tones because it is a book that the vast majority of your students will have sầu read or had read lớn them many times over.Once your students are easily able to lớn draw the tone of the author from picture books & early reader books, you will be ready to move sầu on khổng lồ more complex books.Also, helping your students understand that often it is the mô tả tìm kiếm of the scene that sets the tone of the reading more than what the characters are saying.

4. Demonstrate How Tone Can và Often Does Change in Literature

There are many reasons that an author’s tone can change in a single piece of literature. It could be to lớn show the reader how an experience totally changed their perspective. Or it could be khổng lồ surprise the reader. It could be due khổng lồ wisdom learned over the passage of time. Or it could be just about anything.In fact, tone changes throughout the course of a literary work far more than it stays the same. This is an incredibly important concept to lớn concentrate on when teaching tone in literature.Here is a các mục of some of the most popular reasons for a change in tone in literature:

The plot becomes more complex.To reflect how current or historical events have changed the world.To take the plot in a more bizarre direction.To show the consequences of something that took place in the book.To show more than one perspective at the same time.

There are almost unlimited reasons for a tonal change in literature. The possibilities are literally as limitless as the author’s imagination.

5. Show Students How the Same Piece of Literature Can Show Very Different Tones

Now that you have shown students why and how literature can have sầu very different tones, it is time lớn show them some good examples of authors that changed the tone in their work.

The Once và Future King by T.H. White.This book is one of the best books written on the Arthurian legover. It was published in 1958 & continues khổng lồ be an incredibly popular book. It was directly based on the book Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, which was published in 1485. What makes the tone change so drastically throughout is that it was formed from many smaller works that were collected and revised, with new material added in to make it a cohesive sầu work. It was done in a genius manner.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettThis book is another great example. Although when the story begins, we know that life has been somewhat difficult for Sarah because her mother had passed away. In spite of this, her father raises her well and with great love sầu. Because he is wealthy, he is able lớn send her to the best schools with the best care while he is serving in the military overseas. The tone turns drastically when news reaches Sarah’s headmigăng tay that Sarah’s father has died. She immediately takes away all of Sarah’s privileged life & makes her effectively a poor servant. The tone takes one more drastic turn as Sarah discovers her father is alive & her life returns baông chồng to lớn its former glory.Because most books actually have a change in tone as the plot progresses, you will be able lớn come up with many other great examples that will work perfectly with your students.

6. Whenever Possible, Include Physical Props khổng lồ Help Demonstrate Non-Physical Aspects of Tone in Literature

Because tone is such a non-tangible concept, this is going lớn be the hardest of all of the rules when you are teaching tone in literature. But once you have started thinking outside the box it will become much easier khổng lồ implement.One of the easiest ways khổng lồ demonstrate this is to lớn recreate a couple of scenes in the book you are studying. To use the example of A Little Princess again, setting up two scenes in your classroom and allowing the students to lớn dress up would beautifully illustrate not only the tones but the stark difference between them.Having a “lavish” school scene or birthday các buổi tiệc nhỏ scene on one side of the class with a sparsely furnished ragged attic scene on the other would allow the students lớn get a very dramatic picture of the tones. Adding dress up to this will allow them to actually feel the tone.The way lớn figure this out without a whole lot of difficulty is lớn mix up any scene from any book in your classroom. With some thought và creativity, you can vì chưng this with very little if any expense most of the time. I usually just walked around my house looking for things that would resemble the scenes of books that we were reading in class.Once in a while I would look for something at the thrift store if I knew they were likely lớn have it. And many times I could find the best items at my local dollar store.

7. Use a Variety of Literature Genres to lớn Allow the Students lớn Recognize That Tone in Literature is Universal

This is pretty straightforward so I don’t need to say much else about it. But I would like to point out some other advantages khổng lồ this rule besides allowing students lớn recognize the universality of tone.First, they will experience a wide range of literature. It allow them to lớn read things that they may never have interested them in different circumstances. The good news is that every book ever published has tone, so you will have sầu no shortage of material as you teach tone in literature.Next, they won’t be bored reading the different genres because they will be looking for something in particular–they will be otherwise engaged & not have the chance to be bored with a general reading of the text.And finally, they could very well discover a genre that they never would have sầu realized they have sầu an affinity lớn. This could turn their reading world in a whole new direction!And there are a couple of advantages to the teacher as well. There is a huge pool of literature you can choose from when you deliberately choose many different genres. And you will be able to please most if not all of your students when you are using that wide variety of genres.

8. Start With More Obvious Tonal Cues & Work Toward More Subtle Tones Until Your Students Become Adept at Identifying Tone in Any Passage

I touched on this concept in rule #3, where I recommended teaching tone in literature by starting with early reader or even picture books.Because the authors of these books understvà that early readers vì chưng not yet have sầu a good understanding of tone in literature, they tend lớn exaggerate the feel of tone in order for students & young readers to lớn see it, whether they can name it as tone or not. And that is what makes it so much easier to lớn teach tone in literature to your students by starting with them và working out lớn more complex books from there.

9. Make Sure Students Understand the Difference Between Tone & Mood in Literature

This is one more issue I touched on briefly in rule #1. It is so easy to lớn confuse tone in literature with mood of the characters. In some ways they can actually be intertwined, especially because the tone of the book is formed many times by what the characters say và bởi vì.We have pretty well covered what tone in literature is–it is the author’s attitude or approach as written in his/her literary work.Mood, on the other hvà, consists of how you, the reader, feel about what the author has written. Can you both feel the same? Of course. But you can also feel very different from each other based on your perspective.For example, say you are reading a book about an abandoned house in the woods. The author’s tone can be along the lines of peaceful, or he/she could go in the direction of spooky.On the other hand, the reader, based on the peaceful tone of the author, could actually feel the same peace. Or the reader could feel stressed because he/she doesn’t have access lớn the convenience of the đô thị that he/she is used to lớn living with.Or in the case of the author’s spooky description, the reader can feel fear or terror. Or the reader could feel skepticism.And that realization brings us lớn the point that mood can be different for different people. This is likely dependent on the experiences that the reader has before reading of the book. Nobody toàn thân comes to lớn a book with an empty slate. Whatever experiences they have sầu had in life are going to lớn affect how they feel about what they are reading.

Xem thêm: The Norton Anthology Of American Literature, Vol, The Norton Anthology Of American Literature

10. Have Students Create Their Own Literature With What They Have Learned about Tone in Literature

Now that your students have sầu gotten a good taste of tone in hopefully a great variety of genres of literature, it’s time lớn branch out & let them try their hand at it.I would work backwards with them và have sầu them phối the tones first. Then they could build the scenargame ios around the tones they had chosen. I would also have sầu them pichồng 2-3 tones so they could experiment with transitioning between them.This process will almost instantly take their writing skill to lớn the next màn chơi. And as you work through it with them, you will love sầu seeing their excitement as they realize how well they can bởi it on their own!


So these are my 10 Golden Rules for teaching tone in literature. If you follow these rules, your students will not only underst& the concept of tone in literature, but will be able khổng lồ recognize it và create it in their own writing.

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Chuyên mục: literature