Monday, March 5, 2012

What Is Figurative Language?

If your state takes some dreaded standardized test, then like me, you're trying to make sure your students know everything they can. Meaning, you try to stuff as much information into them as possible and their heads start feeling like an overstuffed chair.
Anyway, a few months back I introduced 4 types of figurative language: Alliteration, Similes, Personification, and Metaphors.
I decided to work on one type each day. So, I had the kids make a figurative language booklet using a large piece of construction paper. They folded it into four sections, one for each type.
Here is a picture of my example:

For each section, we begin by defining the type of figurative language. Then, I add a sentence that shows an example and the kids can illustrate. Below you can find my (insert sarcasm) amazing illustrations I created on the board as an example. Then, because I LOVE picture books, I tried to find one to go with each type. Here are some I like: 





I'm Dirty
Sweet Tooth

Ok, here is amazing artwork. Yep, amazing.
The kids made fun of my gazelle. I guess it does look more like it's doing a leg kick than jumping. Hi yah? (emphatic karate noise)

Anyway... after reading a picture book and talking about how we can identify the figuative language, I do a hands on activity. A collegue of my took a brain-based learning course, at which she learned that students learn better when they can create something with their learning.
So, here are some things I did with my kiddos.

Since we began learning about figurative language in the winter, and I wanted some cute decorations, I decided to have the students make alliterative snowflakes using their names. I used the heading "No Two Are Alike", since both people and snowflakes are all said to be unique. I think they turned out really cute! Example: "Brody blew blissful bubbles around the barn"

For the simile I gave each student a wanted poster, Then, they had to think of a "criminal" with a distinctive feature to create on a poster. Mine was, "A teacher as tall as a giraffe". Then they colored them and cut them out. It made a great hall display.
The template I found was from Mailbox Magazine. Click here for a copy in Google Docs.

Metaphor and Personification: 
I think these are harder for 4th graders to brainstorm on their own. Because of that, I printed out metaphors and personification and cut them into strips. Then, each student got one to illustrate. They glued their sentence onto a white piece of computer paper and illustrated it. Then, I made them into a class book using a three clasp folder.

Click here for a Google Doc of Metaphor examples. 
Click here for a Google Doc of Personification examples.

Happy creative writing!!


  1. I just found your blog through the link up! I love it and these ideas!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm new to the bloggy world, so I'm just trying to put myself out there and share ideas :)

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  3. Found your blog through the linky party... love your figurative language ideas!!

  4. I just did figurative language with my kids last week! They has such a blast!

    I just joined your blog via Fabulous 4th Grade Froggie's Linky Party. Can't wait to read more.

    Happy Thursday!


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  6. OMG, this is amazing. I love these ideas and I will definitely add them to my list of awesome ideas. I am doing a bulletin board about figurative language and I wish I had time to all of thees activities.