School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

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 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 7. Analyze and evaluate the author's purposeful use of language

Objective c. Analyze the appropriateness of a particular tone


The teacher should locate a literary text where the tone is inappropriate to the subject. An example of such a text is O. Henry's "The Ransom of Red Chief." To begin, the teacher should ask students what tone would customarily be used for the subject of the text. In the case of the O. Henry text, the subject would be the kidnapping of a child. Student suggestions for the tone should be listed. Next, the teacher should read selected portions of the text that address the tone of the text. After reading of those portions is complete, the teacher and students should record words and phrases from the text that indicate the author's tone. Finally, the teacher and students should compare the predicted tone to the actual tone and discuss the reasons for the inappropriate tone.


Prior to reading a literary text, the teacher will inform students of the tone of the text. As students read, they should record words and phrases, details of character and setting, details that develop the theme etc...that support the stated tone of the text. After reading is complete, students will share their findings with a partner. In general class discussion, the teacher and students will discuss how each of these narrative elements contributes to the tone of the text and whether the tone is appropriate to the subject of the text. The tone of the text should be emphasized as a deliberate part of the author's craft. If students determine the tone is inappropriate, they and the teacher should discuss the reason for the inappropriateness of the tone. Does the tone create comedy? Does the tone draw attention to the situation of a certain character?

Resources for Objective 3.A.7.c:
LESSON SEEDS | Advanced/G-T |