Figurative Language, Part 2

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Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of figurative language by writing Cornell notes and choosing from a set of examples.

Big Idea

Briefly reviewing the common types of figurative language early in the year allows you to constantly review figurative language in throughout the year.


10 minutes

Read the poem written on the board and identify the type(s) of figurative language being used in the poem.  Use your notes from yesterday! In your concrete evidence, quote and identify the lines in the poem that show the type of figurative language. What connotations (feelings) does the repeated sound give (playful, gloomy, ominous, etc). In your commentary, explain why this shows the type of figurative language.



Daily Grams

10 minutes

Day 38


  • We traveled south on Interstate 26 to reach the Westgate Mall in Spartansburg, South Carolina. 
    • We is capitalized because it is the beginning of the sentence.
    • south is not capitalized because in this case, it is not referring to the geographic location.
    • Interstate 26, Westgate Mall, Spartansburg, and South Carolina are all proper nouns.


  • Whenever Bart's parents camp, they search for a small, secluded stream.
    • Bart is possessive, so it needs an apostrophe.
    • The comm after camp is needed because there is a dependent clause being joined to an independent clause.
    • Small and secluded need to be separated with commas because they are coordinate adjectives.


  • Irregular verbs are verbs that change the pattern.  The pattern is to add an -ed to the infinitive. 
    • I walk, I walked.  Walk is a regular verb. 
    • I see, I saw.  Walk is an irregular verb since you wouldn't say I seed.


  • Today reviews the spelling of one-syllable words that end in consonant-vowel-consonant.  The final letter is doubled when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel. 
    • star + ed = starred
    • drum = er = drummer


Sentence Fluency

  • An ermine's coat usually becomes white in winter. The tip of its tail remains black.
  • These are two simple sentence that should be combined to form a compound sentence.
  • An ermine's coat usually becomes white in winter, but the tip of its tail remains black.


Figurative Language Notes Part 2

30 minutes

We continued our figurative language extravaganza today. We learned the words

  • irony
  • imagery
  • metaphor
  • onomatopoeia
  • personification
  • simile
  • symbol


We started with the basic definition of irony: a difference in what is expected.  The author leads you to believe that one thing is expected, but the opposite happens.  Yes, there are different types of irony (dramatic, verbal, and situational), but that's why we left an entire page for these notes.  We can add to them later throughout the year as we learn the different types.


Imagery is language that appeals to the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.  It's language that evokes images that appeals to at least one of those sense.  There were examples from Dragonwings, so student went to the baggies of figurative language and determined which examples contained imagery. The last example below is my favorite because it makes students go, "Gross!"  That's effective imagery!


  • Examples from Dragonwings
    • “Overhead the moon shone through the bars of the fire escape,” (91).
    • “His lips sucked happily at the pipe, which was as long as my arm,” (92).
    •   “Flaming bits of wreckage scattered all over,” (228).
    • “When you walked through the orchards, the air was thick with the sickly-sweet smell of fruit rotting on the ground,” (262).


Metaphors compare two things .  They compare things directly without using like or as.  Sometimes entire poems or books can be metaphors.  In a metaphor, one thing becomes the other thing.

  • Examples from Dragonwings
    • “I flew so high that the beach was a strip of blue paper set down beside a pane of green glass that was the sea,” (56).
    • “This pig stole money from one of our foxes,” (95).
    • “Her face was red, a lantern that had been filled with blood and was going to burst at any moment,” (136).
    • “Miss Whitlaw gathered people behind her, a hen collecting her chicks,” (205).



Onomatopoeia are words that imitate sounds. They're often found in comic books (boom, pow, bang), but can also be subtle.  Those subtle onomatopoeia pack a punch.  A whisper, a murmur, a rattle or a grumble can add so much.


Personification is when human qualities are given to an object, animal, or an idea. If an animal talks (every Disney movie ever), if a table groans, that's personification. Matt asked how an idea could be personified.    Good question!  Justice wept, liberty mourned, love jumped for joy, and freedom celebrated.  After the third example, he had it, but I kept going for funzies.

  • Examples from Dragonwings
    • The moon “kept pace with us as we walked inside,” (91).
    • “The rains here were lively, friendly things,” (156).
    • “It was a city waiting to be reborn,” (249).


Similes are similar to metaphors in that they compare two unlike things.  Unlike metaphors, they use like or as to do the comparing.  Some similes have been so overused, however, that they've become cliches or idioms. As students examined the examples for similes, they noticed that many similes contained other types of figurative langauge.

  • Examples from Dragonwings
    • "Inside, filaments of burnt bamboo perched like a black insect,” (42).
    • Hand Clap “was in his fifties and lively as a cricket,” (9).
    • “The Dragon King’s voice boomed inside his vast body, the words echoing and vibrating like a gong in a large hall,” (48).
    • “The bony ribs of the wing stood out as high as a hill, and the arteries and veins gleamed like wires of fine-spun ruby and turquoise,” (50).
    • “The houses were like wooden monsters, hunkered down on either side,” (67).


 A symbol is a repeated image or idea that is repeated throughout a poem or book.  In "Zebra,"  the zebra is a symbol for the character Zebra.  


4 minutes

Objective Met?  Each student writes down the day's objective and evaluates how well it was met.  You can use the check/check plus/check minus system for this.



Today's lesson picture was created by Wordle.  Thanks, wordle!