Tone Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teaching your students about the nuances of tone in writing? This lesson plan uses an engaging video to help explain the concept of tone, then gives examples of how tone is used in text. Students will view and discuss examples, then categorize them according to tone.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • determine the tone in a piece of writing
  • categorize tone in a piece of writing
  • write in a specific tone


  • 50 minutes


  • Samples of text from a wide variety of sources, one set for each individual or group
  • Chart paper
  • Clip from Seinfeld titled 'These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty!'

Key Vocabulary

  • Tone
  • Formal/informal
  • Logical/emotional
  • Intimate/distant
  • Serious/humorous

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.b

Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.

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