Maintaining Style and Tone


The lesson expands others related to style and tone for writing and reading.  Many students understand there are differences in style and tone of the things they read or words they hear, but may not know how to maintain their own style and tone when they write and speak.  The lesson reviews how style and tone affects meaning and then helps students to maintain style and tone with their writing and speaking.

Maintaining Style and Tone Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Maintaining Style and Tone
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice on Maintaining Style and Tone
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson expands upon other lessons related to style and tone for reading and writing. The introduction to the lesson reviews the difference between tone and style with examples. Then the lesson covers style extensively, describing to students several things to take into consideration when determining style of a piece, such as point of view, formal or informal, complexity and organization. Then tone is covered, including a definition of mood and a short list of tones used by writers or speaker. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other writing lessons.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:

  1. Once students are attentive, say the following to the class using a sincere tone and then a sarcastic tone: Yes, my favorite place to visit would be Alaska. / Yeah, my favorite place to visit would be Alaska. Next, ask students to explain the difference between the comments.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. If students have not identified the different tones, give them hints or use other examples.  Ask students if they can think of a sentence that can be stated using a different attitude or tone.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Students share their examples.  Ask students if they know the difference between style and tone.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Maintaining Style and Tone.
  5. Distribute Maintaining Style and Tone content pages. Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Read and review the information with the students.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Describe the style and tone of each. Though the same topic, style and tone is not the same.  Allow students time to write the 3 letters and confirm students are writing each letter using a different style and tone, plus they are not to share the letters or ideas with other students.
  7. Once letters are completed, students exchange the set of letters with another student in the classroom. Allow students time to complete the chart and then discuss the results.  Some students may read their letters aloud for comparison purposes.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check responses, students share sentences.
  10. In closing, ask students: If you had to choose a single tone word for your life, what word would you choose and why?  Second, do you live using a formal or an informal style?  Why?

Common Core State Standards: 


Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade


Language Arts

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