Reflection: Modeling Developing Figurative Language - Section 2: Writing Prompts/Power of Word Choice


The prompts students wrote on the board provided some great contrasting examples for the mini-lesson on specific word choices that I will keep for the future, too.  One of the students wrote “the couples coated the hallway walls like_____________.”  We were able to spend a few minutes talking about the connotations of the word ‘coated,’ how it not only introduces a comparison to paint, or mildew, or something like that, but that it also suggests some negativity—that a writer could go to a sardonic place, or a bitter place, because of that word.  Conversely, another wrote “the students sat in the morning assembly like________________.”  For this one, there aren’t any words that suggest a tone or direction, depending completely on the writer’s connotation of morning assembly (our school started doing an all-school assembly on Monday mornings that the students don’t really care for, so there was a specific connotation for the students in class).   I asked them what word could be replaced with a more specific synonym—I was pleased that they immediately went to the verb “sat,” and we talked about words like ‘slouched,’ slept’, ‘squirmed in their seats,’ that could all replace ‘sat’ to provide emotion.  So, this little section of the lesson was probably the most important of the whole day to get them thinking more deeply about language technique and that metaphor is not only in the second half of sentences.  

  Strong Discussion of Connotation
  Modeling: Strong Discussion of Connotation
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Developing Figurative Language

Unit 14: Mini-Unit: Reading and Writing Poetry
Lesson 4 of 5

Objective: SWBAT develop their own metaphors as descriptive and rhetorical devices.

Big Idea: Beginning a poem with a metaphor provides instant tone and suggestion of theme.

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