How visual elements contribute to the tone of a text
How visual elements contribute to the tone of a text

How visual elements contribute to the tone of a text

I can analyze how text and visual elements contribute to the tone of the text.

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In this lesson, students practice analyzing the text in a story as well as the photographs and illustrations to determine the author’s tone. They will be able to describe how the visual elements contribute to their understanding of the text.

Common core standards


Learning Objective

Students will be able to explain how visual elements convey the author’s tone in a text.


Have students observe the two images on the board. Then go over the terms “visual elements” and “tone.”


Share some types of visual elements like illustrations, photographs, videos, and diagrams. Ask students if they enjoy reading texts that include visual elements. Why or why not? Which type of visual element do they usually prefer? Look at some examples of different images and explain that the visual is connected to the author’s purpose. Describe different tone words like “approving,” “worried,” and “frustrated.” Have students use the spinner to land on a tone then find a visual element that conveys that tone. The tone can also be conveyed in the author’s words. Read some passages, including Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse,” and practice analyzing the keywords, visual elements, and tone.


Students respond to 10 questions. They will also read a passage and respond to questions related to the tone.


Students will write a passage and include a visual, either drawn or attached from another source. They will share with a partner who will analyze the text clues and visual elements to determine the tone using the attached worksheet.

Instruction materials

The lesson includes a printable worksheet to be used for the closing activity.

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