This unit defines and explains six common figures of speech; simile, metaphor, allusion, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and personification. As a whole, it is designed to last approximately one week and accompany poetry, literature, or writing instruction, but sections can be used independently.
It addresses objectives in Common Core as well as most Communication Arts curricula.
DEFINING FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE - student handout
The text explains figurative language and defines with examples six common figures of speech; simile, metaphor, allusion, onomatopoeia, alliteration and personification. Students can read the text independently, highlighting or underlining as they go, but reading it outloud in class might be most effective.
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE - graphic organizer
Students can use this worksheet to organize their notes from the student handout on defining figurative language or from their textbook. It should be done individually then reviewed in class.
SIMILE OR METAPHOR? - student handout
Students often confuse simile and metaphor. (I keep them straight by remembering that the word “simile” contains an “L” for “like” and an “S” for “as” and the word metaphor contains neither.) This exercise asks them to create a simile and metaphor for each subject. The exercises can be done independently but could also be used as small group activities, then shared with the class as a whole.
PERSONIFICATION PRACTICE student handout
Designed as an independent exercise, this worksheet could also be used to support creative writing instruction. It could be reviewed in small editing groups or shared with the class as a whole.
MAKING AN ALLUSION - student handout
Understanding allusion is often determined by how well-read students are. Using more current movies or events should make this figure of speech more recognizable. However, additional examples could drawn from readings already studied during the current school year. The exercises can be done independently but could also be used as small group activities, then shared with the class as a whole.
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE - QUIZ
A brief quiz is included to assess student recognition of the six figures of speech included in the unit.
Another handy tool in the What's That? series from CK Teaching Aids providing quick lessons on common Language Arts and Social Studies topics.
Key words: simile, metaphor, allusion, onomatopoeia., alliteration, personification