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The writer’s tone 2

Learning intention

For students to be able to identify the writer's tone in a text.


As the young teacher Ms Sugar sat at her desk at the front of the classroom, she gazed dreamily out the window. She was watching a little bird gently dart about a shrub looking for nectar. Ms Sugar turned slowly and saw that Daniel was having some difficulty in completing his handwriting due to a broken pencil. Silently Ms Sugar went to the cupboard and took a new pencil. She tiptoed over to Daniel's desk.

'Here you are, Daniel: a lovely new pencil for you. What beautiful writing you have been doing. Well done,' she whispered gently.

'Thank you so much, Ms Sugar,' replied Daniel.­­

Suddenly the classroom door flew open and in strode the principal, Ms Bullhorn. She stamped her way across the room, raising one arm in front of her and pointing directly at Daniel. Just as it seemed she would run over him, she stopped and stood towering over Daniel.

'Young man,' she roared, as she jabbed him in the shoulder with a short finger. 'Where did you leave your scooter this morning?'


the text with the students and discuss the different tones in this piece.


students if they can determine what type of personalities Ms Sugar and Ms Bullhorn have.


What evidence is there to support your view?


What kind of teacher is Ms Sugar and what kind of principal is Ms Bullhorn in the text?


What makes you think that? What evidence is there?


students to identify the words that establish the tone. For example: dreamily, slowly, silently, whispered and strode, stamped, pointing, towering, jabbed.


these on the board or underline them in the text.




students to write their own short paragraphs demonstrating a particular tone.

Students could choose their own scenario or use one provided by you. Example scenarios could include: a man enters a bank with a balaclava on his head; a baby is crying in his cot, and the father enters the room.


students to establish the scene and dialogue that might occur to establish a clear tone.


students to share their writing with their peers.


students to identify the tone and explain what words or images were used to create it.