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Tone Worksheets

This page features worksheets and resources that help teach tone. Students are often tested on their ability to interpret a narrator’s tone. They need practice to get it right. Get your practice work here!

What Is Tone?

Tone is the narrator’s attitude toward his or her subject. It is like tone of voice. People describe both types of tone using the same words. For example, if the narrator were mocking the characters, we might say the tone is sarcastic. But unlike tone of voice, which uses sound to help convey feeling, readers can only infer the narrator’s tone from the text. So readers have to pay extra close attention.

How Does One Identify Tone?
Perceiving the narrator’s tone is a basic reading skill, but it requires critical thinking. Readers must comprehend the text, consider the narrator’s sincerity, and make a judgement. The reader must decide whether the narrator is overreacting, pouting, or just playing around.

Tone Worksheets and Resources

Here are some worksheets and resources to give students practice with identifying tone. Each worksheet has four poems. The speaker in each poem expresses a certain tone. Students must read the poems, determine the speakers’ tones, and explain their answer using text. Though I have included answer keys, please bear in mind that these are suggestions. Student answers will vary.


Tone Worksheet 1
This worksheet has four poems, each with a different tone. Students identify the speaker's tone in each poem and explain their answers using text. This will give students some great practice with tone. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8.
This is a preview image of Tone Worksheet 1. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Tone Worksheet 2
Here is another tone worksheet with four poems and eight problems. Students interpret the speaker's tone and support their answers with text. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10.
This is a preview image of Tone Worksheet 2. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Tone Worksheet 3
Here is yet another worksheet to help students master tone. Students read the short poems. Then they interpret the speaker's tone and support their answers using textual evidence. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9.
This is a preview image of Tone Worksheet 3. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Tone Worksheet 4
This tone worksheet is a little more challenging than some of the other tone worksheets. The poems are a bit more challenging, but students still must interpret the speaker's tone and support their answers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9.
This is a preview image of Tone Worksheet 4. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Tone Worksheet 5
This tone worksheet features 4 short poems. Student read the poems and analyze each speakers' tone. They explain their answers and also answer comprehension questions about each poem. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9.
This is a preview image of Tone Worksheet 5. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Common Core State Standards Related to Tone

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

View All Common Core State Standards Related to Tone
Reading: Literacy

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

View Source
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

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16 Comments

  1. Angela Araújo

     /  June 21, 2021

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful work!

    Reply
  2. Laurie Frazier

     /  October 17, 2019

    Really enjoy using this site, and I appreciate the time and dedication you put into the site and the fact that it is absolutely free!! I have recommended it to a good deal of teachers!!

    Reply
  3. keelahrose

     /  October 17, 2018

    What happened to the other tone worksheets? These used to be short stories, now they’re all poems.

    Reply
  4. Judith

     /  May 9, 2018

    Love these worksheets to review and reinforce skills in my junior and senior classes. They are excellent for individual and group work. You have provided an amazing resource that saves me lots of time. Your time and effort used to set this up is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Reply
  5. Manisha Bakshi

     /  January 29, 2018

    Great Resources. Really useful.

    Reply
  6. Nadine

     /  September 12, 2017

    Thank you! This sure makes teaching a little easier and I know it will help my students!

    Reply
  7. Tiffany Wall

     /  September 11, 2017

    I love this site. Thank you so much for being a resource to my classroom!!

    Reply
  8. Lili

     /  January 18, 2017

    You are the best! Thank you for everything! 🙂

    Reply
  9. alsan divinagracia

     /  August 16, 2016

    these are very helpful instructional materials. thank you for your love to teaching. God bless.

    Reply
  10. Ma. Fatima M. Solis

     /  July 25, 2016

    Thank you for this . It is very helpful. God bless

    Reply
  11. Ms. Garcia

     /  June 16, 2016

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. These are very helpful.

    Reply
  12. Betina

     /  October 7, 2015

    Excellent site.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Irving Echevarria

     /  August 31, 2015

    Excellent site. Very useful for my ESL students. Love it.

    Reply

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