"Self-Reliance" and Figurative Language Practice, Day One

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Students will be able to identify and analyze figurative language by reading and analyzing Emerson's "Self-Reliance."

Big Idea

Metaphor, simile, hyperbole, oh my! Identifying and analyzing figurative language.

Do Now: Write a Metaphor

5 minutes

Continuing our study of figurative language, today's Do Now asks students to write a metaphor.

"School is a prison." Yep. Well, it's a metaphor anyway.

"Tyler is a wrecking ball." Ah, a song allusion--perhaps we shouldn't use that one, though.

"Love is like a song." Not quite a metaphor.

"That's a simile--it has 'like' in it!" Exactly.

We still have some misconceptions, but at least we're using figurative language.

Emerson's "Self-Reliance"

25 minutes

We continue our reading using the same read-write-share strategy referenced here. As on our previous day, we only work with a few paragraphs, moving slowly to avoid frustration. Students again struggle with vocabulary, but our rounds of discussion help us achieve understanding. I see students scribbling extra notes in their text margins, a good strategy which will help them in future analysis.

Figurative Language Practice

15 minutes

Today, I provide a single quote from our reading for students to analyze. I project it on the board as follows:

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members" (Emerson, 1841).

  1. What figurative language trick is used?
  2. What does the quote mean?
  3. How does the figurative language impact the tone of the quote?

I ask students to analyze the quote with a partner since this is our first true practice attempt; they will need the support.

After 10 minutes, we come back together to check their work. Many students mislabeled the quote: