School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 3

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 5. Identify and explain the author's use of language

Objective b. Identify and explain specific words and punctuation that create tone


The teacher will display for students a series of signs such as Do Not Disturb, Beware of Dog! Wet Paint, or It's a Girl! Students will be instructed to categorize these signs according to their intent and meaning to a reader. Next, the teacher and students will determine the tone (author's attitude toward the subject) for each sign by focusing on the word choice and punctuation used in the sign.


The teacher should select two informational passages about the same subject but with different tones. Students should be instructed to read both passages with the purpose of finding what is different about the author's attitude toward the subject in each passage. After reading is complete the teacher and students should discuss the difference in tones and then return to both passages to select those words and the punctuation that created the different tones.


The teacher will provide students with a disposable, informational passage where selected words and phrases which create tone have been underlined or highlighted. In a class discussion, students will focus on those words and phrases and draw a conclusion about the author's tone. The reverse can be done with the teacher supplying the tone and then directing and guiding students to finding words and phrases in the passage that helped create that tone.


Students will read an informational passage with a definable tone/s. Once reading is complete, individuals or paired students should complete the chart below.

Paragraph Number Tone Text Support

After the chart has been completed, students should share their findings with the class. Next, the teacher should refocus students on particular words in the text support column and have students qualify how that word creates a particular tone. This will require students to look at multiple meanings of words, denotation versus connotation, word associations, and context.

Resources for Objective 2.A.5.b:
Clarifications | LESSON SEEDS | Public Release Items |