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In this Photo Story 3/iMovie lesson, students manipulate photos and music to create distinct and different tones or moods
Computers & Internet, Language Arts
9, 10, 11, 12
Title – Teaching Tone vs. Mood using Computer-Based Multimedia
By – F. J. Kaplan
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Computer & Internet
Grade Level – 9-12
Estimated Time: 5 Days
- Lecture (1 day)
- Project Creation (2 days)
- Presentation (2 days)
Concept / Topic To Teach:
- Students will learn the difference between tone and mood in the literary/theatrical sense.
- Tone – the author’s attitude, stated or implied, toward a subject.
- Some possible attitudes are pessimism, optimism, earnestness, seriousness, bitterness, humorous, and joyful. An author’s tone can be revealed through choice of words and details.
- Mood – the climate of feeling in a literary work.
- The choice of setting, objects, details, images, and words all contribute towards creating a specific mood. For example, an author may create a mood of mystery around a character or setting but may treat that character or setting in an ironic, serious, or humorous tone.
- (Definitions from Literary Elements – Laura Bokesch,
- (12d) English Language Arts and Reading:
- Reading/Media Literacy: evaluate changes in formality and tone within the same medium for specific audiences and purposes.
- (TEKS -
- (5c) Fine Arts:
- Response/evaluation: The student responds to and evaluates theatre and theatrical performances.
- (TEKS -
- Students will use photos and audio to create a distinct tone and mood.
- Define tone and mood.
- Create a visual and auditory presentation representing a complementary tone and mood.
- Revise either the visual or auditory elements of the presentation to represent an opposing tone and mood
- PC capable of running Microsoft’s Photo Story 3 or Macintosh capable of running iMovie.
- Internet access (for digital photos/audio)
Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):
- The teacher begins by showing two 30-second presentations to the class.
- The first presentation is a Photo Story/iMovie collage of five photos: a sunrise, a flower, two people holding hands, a newborn baby, and a smiling candid. The background music is Pachabel, or another calming classical piece.
- The teacher asks what tone is implied by the photos. The teacher then asks what mood is implied by the music.
- Then, a second presentation is shown. The photo collage has been replaced with five different photos: a sunset, a wilted flower, a great depression breadline, a Persian Golf war photo, and a frowning candid. The music is exactly the same as in the first presentation.
- The teacher then asks how the tone has changed (re: photos). Then, the teacher asks about the mood implied by the same music, in context with the photos.
- Students will be paired in groups of three. One student is responsible for gathering five photos. One student is responsible for the musical accompaniment. One student is responsible for assembling the presentation.
- The teacher will assign each group a single tone (e.g. pessimism, optimism, joy, etc.), and a single mood (ironic, serious, humorous, etc.).
- Each group will use Creative Commons or their own personal digital photos to gather five images.
- Each group will use Creative Commons, or their own personal audio collection to select a song.
- Each group will create a 30-second multimedia presentation using either Photo Story or iMovie, and the five images, and the music.
- Each group will then create a second multimedia presentation by changing one aspect of their presentation — either the music, or the photos.
- Each group will show their first presentation to the class, and the other students will guess both the mood and the tone of the presentation.
- Each group will then show the alternate presentation to the class, and the other students will guess whether the mood or the tone has changed — and to what effect.
Plan for Independent Practice:
- As an additional exercise, the teacher can recommend that students visit YouTube (or another media site) and look at various campaign commercials for local and national elections. Students should be able to identify the tone and mood of the commercials.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
- The teacher reinforces the prevalence of tone and mood by encouraging students to scrutinize how authors write about their characters; the tone of their words, and the mood of the setting that the characters are placed in.
Assessment Based On Objectives:
- Given a multimedia presentation, students will be able to:
- identify a singular tone
- identify a singular mood
- recognize a deviation in the tone/mood based on a singular change to the presentation
Adaptations (For Students with Learning Disabilities):
- This exercise does not lend itself to hearing or visually impaired students because both auditory and visual senses must be exercised in order to convey the tone/mood.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
- As an advanced exercise, text can be added to each image as another variable that affects tone and mood. (Note: both Photo Story and iMovie allow the user to add text to each image.)
- Students may wish to select passages from a favorite poem or story and superimpose the text against their pre-selected music and images to further illustrate what they felt the author(s) were attempting to convey.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
- Social Studies (Political advertisements)
- Multimedia and Computers
- Theatre and Film
E-Mail F. J. Kaplan !