Mood vs. Tone – This week, we started with identifying mood. It is very difficult for sixth grade students to note the difference between mood and tone. The students are familiar with the definitions of both but become easily confused when identifying either or both. The focus this week was to identify mood in different passages and to create a mood with our own writing passage.
The students started by reading short passages and identifying words that express a certain mood. We then watched a short video that also showed them examples of how a situation or setting can change by using different words. After the video, the students received a mood word sheet with different emotions and words that displayed that specific emotion. The students were given time to add words to each list. For example, they had a list of words for boring: dreary, dull, uneventful, and tiring. Then, they added words to this specific emotion. By the end, they had a list of words for each emotion.
With their list of words, the students then wrote a short passage trying to create a specific mood. On the sheet, they had lines to write the passage, and then, under the lines, there was a spot for the mood. I printed off and displayed six different pictures for the students that struggled to come up with an idea on their own. Their favorite picture was a cat standing over a fish bowl. Some of the students even used the computers to find a favorite picture to write about. On day one, they only wrote one passage. At the end, a few students shared aloud and the other students guessed the mood.
Before going to day two and writing the same passage but with different words, I showed them an excerpt from a manuscript that I am writing. This is something that I modified for this year’s lesson. I asked the students to help me change it from a romantic (loving) mood to a more anxious (but exciting) mood because it is the beginning of a first love. The students did a tremendous job offering words to make the passage more of a anxious, exciting love versus a romantic love. They added words like fidgeting, embarrassing, and a scene where the character is talking to the owner of the diner, which he knows, versus giving his full attention to his date because he is so nervous. It was a wonderful addition to the mini-lesson.
On day 2, the students went back to their original passage and rewrote it with a different mood. Then, they had time to share both passages with classmates. The reader had to guess the two different words based on the words that they used and the mood of the passage. Again, the students did a wonderful job with both the writing and reading part of the second assignment. Finally, I showed them two examples that I wrote and they had to identify the words that I used to change the mood.
Here are the examples:
First example: Dad’s aggravation is seeping out of every pore of his beet red face. He violently snatches the phone from my hand and begins to pace with rage. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He screams at me in an irate voice.
Second example: Dad’s joy is seeping out of every pore of his smiling face. He delightfully grabs the phone from my hand and begins to bounce elatedly. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He asks in a delighted voice.
Next week, we will be working on tone. They are ready.