Don’t Take That Tone with Me


Students will connect their voice and body by participating in movement exercise and completing a journal.


Materials Needed

Large space to move around in
CD player or Laptop and speakers
CD with variety of music genre samples


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Have the class get out a piece of paper and a writing utensil. If the space isn’t the classroom, have the students follow you to the space.



Step 1: Have the students circle up. If needed, have them join hands and then step back as far as they can to arms length and then let go.


Step 2: Conduct some physical warm ups. This can include rolling down and up, rolling the head around, writing their name with different parts of their body (hand, foot, elbow, knee, nose, and butt are some fun ones). Also have them do a variation of a voice and movement exercise: do a big motion and make a sound. Have the class repeat you together. Ask for a few student volunteers to do the same or if time go around the circle and have everyone do a sound and movement.


Step 3: Have the students start walking around in a circle. Once they are comfortable (half a rotation or so) tell them they don’t have to stay walking in the circle. Demonstrate this by breaking away from the circle and walking randomly around the room.


Step 4: Tell them that when music starts, they need to change the way they walk and move to match the music. Play 60-90 seconds of a song. When the music stops, tell them to run to where they placed their paper and they need to write a response to the music. They can write 2-3 sentences about any of the following: what did the music make you feel inside, how did you move your body, what did your arms do, your legs, your head, your elbows, your toes, your belly button? Give the students a minute to write their response and then have them get up and start walking around again. Repeat this 2-3 times. Suggestions for songs include:
“Honey” by Moby
“Mahna Mahna” – Muppet Show
“Worried About You” by Ivy
“Lose Yourself” (edited version) by Eminem


Step 4: After their last written response, have the student gather and sit in a circle. Discuss their reactions to each song. If needed, play the first 2 seconds of each song to remind them what they were. Ask what they did differently, what they felt.


Step 5: Instruct the students that our bodies and our voices are connected. What we feel inside and how we talk coincide. Ask them, “What tone does your mom have if she finds out you skipped school? What tone does your mom have I she finds out you got straight A’s? Does her voice change?” Answers: angry, happy, yes. Tell the students that this is called tone. Tone is essentially the mood or feeling one creates with their voice.


Step 6: Ask for other suggestions of tone/mood. Suggestions: Angry, Happy, Sad, Apathetic, Excited, Scared, Love, Hopeful, Bored, Lazy. Have the students practice different tones by saying a simple phrase. Ask the students for suggestions by having them fill in the blank: “I really enjoy ________,” “My favorite weekend activity is _______,” “I really wish I could ______,” “My favorite kind of sandwich is ______”.


Step 6: With remaining class time, have the students take out their puppets. Play some other music samples and have them make their puppets dance to each one.



Have students return their puppets to the puppet box and turn in their responses.



Read the students responses. Also, listen for the change in student voices during the tone practice. Give direct feedback to students if you can (i.e. Wow! That was the angriest tone I’ve heard yet!).