Mood or Feeling

Contributor: Erin Jones. Lesson ID: 11802

How can you tell when someone is crabby, happy, frustrated, or any other emotion? How can you tell (or convey) a character's mood? You'll feel better about your writing when you complete this lesson!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Otter, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


When you are in a bad mood, how do you let others know? How would you let readers know?

In the previous Related Lessons in this series, you explored the parts of a strong personal narrative — specifically, you learned about narrowing your focus and communicating your perspective to your reader.

If you need to review or somehow skipped the previous Related Lessons, catch up now in the right-hand sidebar.

In this lesson, you will learn about conveying a mood or feeling to your reader.

A personal narrative communicates the specific feeling that is associated with the event being communicated.

For example, if an author wrote about his dog dying, the mood or feeling of his writing would be sad or melancholy. The author would not write about the dog's entire life, because this focus is too wide. If the author were to write about the dog's entire life, there would be various moods or feelings, such as when he got the dog (happy), when the dog was chased by a skunk (excitement), or when the dog came out of surgery (relief). This might be appropriate for a book, but for a short personal narrative the focus and the moods or feelings must be specific.

One clear way authors communicate mood is through careful word choice. When recalling a personal event that is happy, such as winning an award, you might use words like, "excited," "proud," "pleased," "honored," and "fulfilled." When recalling a personal event that is scary, such as hearing a strange noise in the middle of the night, you might use words or phrases like, "frozen in fear," "shaking," "terrified," and "heart-stopping."

Do you see how careful word choice can clearly communicate a mood or feeling to your reader? Share some words that might describe a sad event with your teacher or parent.

In the Got It? section of this lesson, you will use your detective skills to determine the mood or feeling being communicated by an author.

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