Friday, June 26, 2015

Teach Students to Create Mood in Writing

Humorous, mysterious, eerie, happy, gloomy. whimsical, the list goes on! Creating mood when writing is what gives a piece of writing life! Often students struggle with this literary element unless they are directly taught how to create mood. is that done? The ideas below give you a place to start. If you have other ways you teach mood, be sure to add them in the comments section!

Mood: The feeling you have when listening to or reading a story

1. Discuss words that describe a mood for a story, chapter or written piece. Make the list on the board. Ask students to choose one word and give a few sentences orally that could be used to support that word. ie. mysterious "He was confused. That hallway wasn't there only a minute ago. What's going on here?"

2. Read a short selection from one of the Edgar Allen Poems or stories. If you want spooky, you can't do better than Poe! Choose selections from other stories your students may have read in class, or on their own. Decide the mood. Discuss that mood will most likely change throughout a story. Another great book is "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever". The first paragraph is terrific!

3. Write different types of mood on slips of paper, fold and put in a hat. Ask students to pull our a slip of paper and write a paragraph that would show that mood. Exchange with a partner and ask them to read the selection, then guess what mood is being conveyed.

4. Show pictures from the Internet. Ask students to write one word to describe how they feel about that picture. List the words on the board and discuss.

How about some great videos about teaching Mood (and tone)

This short video is an illustration of pictures and words that describe the tone. It would be great to use in an opening lesson.

This video is about teaching mood and tone in poetry to fifth graders. It's great for third and fourth as well!

If you need some good pictures to use with your lesson, check out the sites below:

This is a terrific Pinterest page with loads of great writing pictures...great for mood!
Writing Picture Prompts
This site has a PowerPoint of 50 great pictures:
50 Picture PowerPoint

If you have a great way to teach mood, be sure and add it below!


  1. A great game to play is Mood Charades. Students pick a mood card and act out the word while teams try to guess. Great for building vocabulary also.

  2. Thanks for you ideas. This year I used the "real" trailer for Tangled and then the "scary version" (on YouTube). They also have the same thing for Frozen. The kids loved it and totally picked up on what I was talking about.

  3. I absolutely love the two ideas from Lynn and Robin! Both would be GREAT ideas to use with students!! Thanks so much!!