Why do authors choose to write particular pieces of figurative language? What effect does figurative language have on the reader?
Answering these two questions is essential to fulfilling ELA standards in the middle grades.
How can teachers help students gain the skill of analyzing the impact of figurative language?
Give them a fun way to memorize the main reasons!
Kid-Friendly, entertaining, animated powerpoint
A mnemonic device or a way of remembering the main reasons.
Examples in literature
Interactive questions on each slide
I designed this 60-90 minute lesson because my students were almost always stumped when they were asked, "What is the effect?" or "Why did the author choose to put that particular word choice there?" I got tired of hearing, "because it sounds cool," and "because it makes it interesting" as their only answers.
Although I agreed with both of those statements, I wanted my students to delve much deeper when analyzing literature. An additional goal of mine was to think of a way that students could remember the main reasons authors choose certain figurative language. That way, when they were stumped, they could retrieve a number of reasons from memory, and choose from a list. Hence, the SMILING M&Ms were born.
"SMILING M and Ms" is an original created acrostic in which each letter stands for a reason that authors may choose to use figurative language.
The "S," for example, stands for "Suspense." For each letter, there is a slide with an example of an author's use of figurative language (in this case, to build suspense) and questions for interaction at the bottom of each slide.
Check out the preview!
After teaching this multi-day lesson, you will love how easily your students will be able to come up with reasons that authors have made specific word choices. They will be able to analyze literature at a deeper level with confidence, and will no longer struggle to figure out why an author used a specific metaphor, etc. Armed with a Kid-friendly tool, the SMILING M&Ms, they will be able to figure it out.
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