Theme, Mood, and Tone

What is Theme? Theme is the moral of a story. The idea/message it is trying to teach you. It is a statement that expresses a universal message. Finding a Theme in Two Steps 1. When you finish reading a book, ask yourself to sum up the book in a single word. For example, a single word for the book Little Red Riding Hood could be deception. Deception is the subject of the book. 2. Next, stretch that single word into a message: innocence can lead to deception. This is a theme for “The Three Little Pigs” as well. Popular themes

  • Honesty is the best policy
  • Believe in yourself
  • Look before you leap
  • Don’t believe everything you hear
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Justice for all
  • Money can’t buy happiness
  • To have a friend, you have to be a friend
  • Treat others as you’d like to be treated

Themes found in movies for kids
Mirror Mirror – Good triumphs over Evil
High School Musical – Trust your loved ones
Frozen – Don’t hide, so that others may see who you truly are
Nemo – Stick together and never lose hope
Rio – Chase your dreams no matter how wild they might be
Toy Story – Fight/stick up for your friends

Tone and Mood Watch out! Tone and mood are similar!! Tone is the author’s attitude toward the writing (his characters, the situation) and the readers.  A work of writing can have more than one tone.  An example of tone could be both serious and humorous.  Tone is set by the setting, choice of vocabulary and other details. Mood is the general atmosphere created by the author’s words.  It is the feeling the reader gets from reading those words.  It may be the same, or it may change from situation to situation. Authors set a TONE or MOOD in literature by conveying an emotion or emotions through words. The way a person feels about an idea, event, or another person can be quickly determined through facial expressions, gestures and in the tone of voice used. MOOD: (sometimes called atmosphere) the overall feeling of the work Mood is the emotions that you (the reader) feel while you are reading. Some literature makes you feel sad, others joyful, still others, angry. The main purpose for some poems is to set a mood. Writers use many devices to create mood, including images, dialogue, setting, and plot. Often a writer creates a mood at the beginning of the story and continues it to the end. However, sometimes the mood changes because of the plot or changes in characters. Examples of MOODS include: suspenseful, joyful, depressing, excited, anxious, angry, sad, tense, lonely, suspicious, frightened, disgusted TONE: the way feelings are expressed Tone is the attitude that an author takes toward the audience, the subject, or the character. Tone is conveyed through the author’s words and details

Words That Describe Tone Words That Describe Mood
AmusedHumorous Pessimistic Angry Informal Playful Cheerful Ironic Pompous Horror Light Sad Clear Matter-of-fact Serious Formal Resigned Suspicious Gloomy Optimistic Witty FancifulMelancholy Frightening Mysterious Frustrating Romantic Gloomy Sentimental Happy Sorrowful Joyful Suspenseful

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