Rising and Falling Intonation Patterns

Lesson Plan of Rising and Falling Intonation Patterns

English Grade V

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Listen to and respond suitably to the sentences with rising and falling intonation patterns.

Information for Teachers

·        Intonation Patterns:
o   The description of an intonation pattern is the manner a person’s voice raises and lowers dependent on what they are speaking about. An example of an intonation pattern is raising your voice at the close of a question.
o   It is the variation in the pitch of the speaker’s voice used to convey information or alter meaning.
·        Rising intonation
o   Rising intonation describes how the voice rises at the end of a sentence. Rising intonation is shared in yes-no questions:
o   I listen to the Health Centre is expanding. So, is that the new doctor?
o   Are you thirsty?
·        falling intonation
o   Falling intonation describes how the voice falls on the final strained syllable of a phrase or a cluster of words. A falling intonation is very shared in wh-questions.
o   Where’s the nearest Hospital?
·         There are three basic pitches in English – normal, high, and low.
o   The normal pitch is where the voice usually is.
o   High is where the voice rises to specify information focus.
o   Low is where the voice falls, usually at the end of sentences.
·         Tone: The certain pattern of voice movement is called ‘tone’.
·         While teaching the lesson, the teacher should also consult textbook at all steps where and when required.
·        Low Rise (A Rising Tone)
o   Yes/no questions are uttered with a rising tone.
·        Fall (A Falling Tone)
o   A falling tone is by far the most common used tone of all. It signals a sense of finality, completion, belief in the content of the utterance, and so on.
·         Rising Intonation: is answerable by yes or no.
·         Falling Intonation: is a sentence, a question that is not answerable by yes or no.

Material/ Resources

Chalk/marker, board, textbook

Worm up activity

·         Begin by reading an example sentence aloud to the students (for example: Can you sing a song?
·         Read the sentence the first time pronouncing each word carefully.
·         Read the sentence a second time in natural speech.
·         Ask students which reading seemed more natural and why it seemed more natural.
·         Using the ideas students come up with, explain the idea of English having rising and falling tones.
·         All yes/no answers having questions are rising tones and all others questions besides yes/no are having falling tones.
·         Students often focus on pronouncing each word correctly and therefore tend to pronounce in an unnatural manner.


Activity 1

·         Write all the ‘wh’ words on the board one by one and ask the students to guess their meaning and ask questions using that “wh” word from their class-fellows.
·         Help them asking questions correctly with emotions and gestures according to the class/students’ environment, e.g. what is in the picture/drawing?

Activity 2

·         Hold two things of different sizes.
(For example: one small yellow paper and one big red papers) in your hand so that all students see.
·         Ask the students: Which paper is big in size?  (Expected response: Red paper.)
·         Teach the students when to use ‘which’.
·         Hold some colors in your hand. Ask from one student: Which color do you want?
·         Give the colors to the student and tell him/her to ask another student: Which color do you want?
·         Carry on the activity with a few more students.
·         Go to a student’s desk holding your book. Hold your book in your hand and tell the class: This is my book.
·         Hold the student’s book in your hand and ask the class: Whose book is this? Repeat the action if students don’t seem to understand. Use actions for students’ understanding.
·         Encourage students with words like well done! Good! If they give correct answers. If they don’t understand or give wrong answer, tell the class (using actions): This is my book. This is Salma’s book.
·         Tell the students when to use ‘whose’.
·         Practice ‘whose’ with students as long as time allows.

Activity 3

·         Questions having ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.
·         Divide the class into two groups. One group makes questions having ‘
·         Yes’ / ‘no’ answers only and the other group makes questions having answers other than ‘yes’ or ‘no’. give them 4 minutes for this activity
o   Write the questions on the board.
o   Record all the responses on the board.
o   Ask students to read the sentence.
o   Note the pronunciation and style of reading of each student.
o   Ask students to try reading aloud again with focus on rising tone.
o   Students must practice the questions carefully for few minutes.
o   You must listen carefully and provide support and correction where needed.  

Activity 4

·         Explain to students the concept of pitch and its types.
·         Ask them to read a sentence written on the board.
·         Question: What!  Where do you mean he’s?
·         Answer: oh! How sad. He is no more.
·         Ask students to read the above given question and answer two to three times aloud and see the difference in their tones and pitch.
·         Let the two groups come up with one question and answer that you record on the board for very high pitch and ask the groups to practice reading it aloud.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Ask students which tone becomes rising and why.


·         Listen to students’ responses continuously and carefully to know their level of understanding.
·         You must practice this concept in every lesson from now onwards.
·         Teacher is also required to involve the student in solving the problems given in the exercise at end of unit/chapter.

Follow up

·         Students must make one rising and one falling tone pattern question having high pitch of English and write it in their notebooks. Practice reading them with intonation patterns at home.

Leave a Comment