Social Skills – Tone of Voice


Interpretation and use of tone voice to determine/convey emotions can be difficult skills to teach.  Tone of Voice is a user-friendly guessing-game activity that can actually be pretty fun for students.  This resource really increases students’ awareness of how tone of voice matters in social interactions.  There are many ways to modify this activity, including decreasing or increasing the number of emotions from which to choose, and stating sentences live rather than recorded.

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Social Skills: Tone of Voice

Often, when people think of non-verbal communication, they think of facial expressions and body language but don’t think of tone of voice. We use tone of voice to express and to interpret emotions and intentions. How you say something can be as important as the words you use. Of course, this is a major reason why the intended message in texts and emails can be misinterpreted. If you want to see a perfect (and hysterical) example of this, check out the YouTube video “Key & Peele: Text Message Confusion”. If you’d like to share it with your students, you might want to choose the censored version! When individuals on the autism spectrum struggle with interpreting or effectively using tone of voice it can, unfortunately, be a difficult skill to teach. I’ve designed an activity that targets both interpretation and use of tone of voice. At the very least, Tone of Voice can serve as an evaluation tool. At my school we’ve had students who came across as rude or whiny, but when we discovered that their tone of voice did not match their intentions we better understood how to respond.