During Writer's Workshop, I emphasize to my students that writers have a toolbox filled with tools and devices to revise and edit their writing. One of those tools is figurative language to be used by the writer to help the reader see, hear, taste, smell, touch, or feel what s/he is describing.
I often introduce a concept with a slideshow in which definitions and examples are provided, examined, and discussed. Students are then given the opportunity to work in pairs to identify, explain, and create. In the case of figurative language, I created a PowerPoint to teach six literary devices for writers: simile, metaphor, personification, idiom, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. The slides are often animated and interactive. Below is a snapshot of some of the slides for "Simile" instruction.
Providing additional practice identifying these figurative devices is key to helping students create examples of their own. When reading to students during Hear Me Read, I tell them to listen for the type of figurative language we are currently learning. When someone points out the device, we talk about how it helps us understand what the writer is saying. I also encourage them to be on the lookout for examples in books they are reading and to keep their ears open as they watch TV or talk with their parents and friends. Students write down their discoveries and share them with the class during the next Writer's Workshop.
In addition I provide practice with activities such as this Simile/Metaphor Sort.
In this Figurative Language Adventure Game students compete to be the first to reach the Writer's Toolbox by reading Figurative Language cards and identifying the type of literary device as they move along the game board.
Following instruction and practice identifying the literary device, students write and illustrate an example of their own. This can be done by hand or on the computer as seen below in the idiom example.
Often we take a Museum Walk in the classroom to share our work. Students clear their desks except for the illustrated literary device. We walk slowly and quietly about the room to view the illustration and read the author's work. This gives students a chance to see what their classmates have created. I often hang the examples in the hallway for parents, teachers, and other students to view as they travel about the school. Another option is to make a class book of the students' examples.
The Figurative Language PowerPoint, the FL Adventure Game, and the FREE Simile/Metaphor Sort are available at my TpT store.
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