This lesson helps students to explore mood in selected passages from the first chapter of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. How does the author convey that the man Jack is scary? Which words help us to know that there is something desperate and panicked about the ghost of the baby's mother? After working with these examples from the first chapter, students can keep track of mood in later chapters, citing passages and discussing their favorites with classmates.
This lesson is geared toward grades 6-8. The activity can be assigned as homework and/or used in a class discussion. It is not necessary to have a copy of the book to complete the written exercises. An answer key is provided so the discussion could be led by a substitute teacher, if necessary.
Although ability to identify literary mood is not a required skill in the Common Core standards for middle school ELA, this activity relates to the "Vocabulary Acquisition and Usage" standard and "Text Types and Purposes":
- Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
- Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
by Sara Hathaway
Mood in The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (Chap. 1) by Sara Hathaway is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License