6th Grade - Identify Tone, Mood And Emotion In Spoken Language

Speaking and Listening
Identify tone, mood and emotion in spoken language
Identify the tone, mood, and emotion conveyed in the oral communication.
Be able to identify the emotional impact of oral communication.

Sample Problems


What is oral communication? (spoken words)


What is tone? (the speaker’s general attitude, e.g. humorous, sarcastic)


What is mood? (the emotion evokes in the listener by the communication, e.g. outrage, sympathy)


What is emotion? (a word used to describe feelings: “A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological change”, e.g. joyful, depressed)


How do speakers express tone, mood, and emotion? (through verbal and non-verbal devices such as intonation, pitch, word choice, pacing, gesture, posture, etc. )

Learning Tips


Read the following speech, the Pearl Harbor address to the nation by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941), look up any unfamiliar words, then listen to the audio at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrpearlharbor.htm.

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.


What were the circumstances under which this speech was delivered? (U.S. had just been attacked by Japan)


What would you say is the tone of the speech? (examples: serious, tough, patriotic, protective, determined)


What mood do you think the speech evoked in its listeners? (examples: loyal, patriotic, outraged)


What emotions would you have felt if you were living in America at this time?

Extra Help Problems


Watch the advertisement “Iraqi Freedom” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-HfSY6LEqY. Write a paragraph about the tone, mood, and emotion of the ad.


What is the purpose of the “Iraqi Freedom” ad? Do you think it achieved its purpose?


Watch the ad “National Priority” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHMbwk6CDLE.

Write a paragraph about the tone, mood, and emotion of the ad.


What is the purpose of the “National Priority” ad? Do you think it achieved its purpose?


Choose three student speeches to listen to at http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/speech/library.htm. Write about their tone, mood, and emotion.


Why is it important to be aware of the tone, mood, and emotion of a spoken communication when you are the listener?


Why is it important to be aware of the tone, mood, and emotion of a spoken communication when you are the speaker?


Write a text you will speak aloud with a humorous tone, like a funny story.


Write a text to speak aloud that is designed to make people feel moved to tears, such as a eulogy (delivered at a funeral.)


Write a text to speak aloud that is designed to make people feel inspired, like the story of someone (or yourself) overcoming great difficulties.


Write a text to speak aloud that is designed to comfort someone who is disturbed or angry about something.


Write a text to speak aloud that is designed to make people want to take action to solve a problem.


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