Lining up Literary Language

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SWBAT generate definitions and examples of literary devices.

Big Idea

Why would a poet say that?

Make a fold-able book

10 minutes

Even though it seems like every teacher every year for ever and ever has taught my students figurative language and literary devices, when they enter sixth grade, poof!  It's all gone!!

Before we even tackle reading poetry, I am going to spend some time reviewing poetic devices. These concepts are tested in our statewide standardized test coming up in April. In order to make this experience more aligned to Common Core, we will spend time closely reading, analyzing, and evaluating many outstanding examples of poetry.  

I'll have my students make a quick FLIP BOOK out of three pieces of paper. 

Each day, we'll hit one or two literary devices.  I'll review the definition, which students will record in the book.  We'll practice finding examples and generate some of our own.  Students will record some of these examples in the book as well.  I'll have them use this flip book when we analyze poetry to help them find these devices.  


Up, Up, and Away with Alliteration!

10 minutes

I always begin with alliteration because it is easy and fun.  

The definition I use is:  Alliteration occurs when words with the same beginning consonant sound occur close to each other.  

First we have fun making up our own wacky examples.  Then I'll show part of this poem, and ask students to identify examples in context.

We will also look at some famous examples. (I really like this website,  

Most importantly, we'll discuss WHY a writer, advertiser, or regular guy would want to use alliteration.  I feel that unless students see the purpose or value of these techniques, they become a lot of literary fluff that is soon forgotten.  I will encourage student to immediately apply this technique into their own writing to give it rhythm!  

Don't Forget about the Consonant (or consonance in this case)

10 minutes

I want to see if my students can use their prior knowledge of alliteration, plus a couple of examples, to figure out what consonance might be.  

We will first review alliteration by generating some examples of our own.  I'll ask for student examples and record them up on the board.  Then, I'll give them this example.  

"Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile (r,p, and t repeated)

Whether Jew or gentile, I rank top percentile."

Many styles, more powerful than gamma rays (m, s, p repeated)

My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays."

("Zealots" by the Fugees)

I'll read it aloud and highlight words that we need need to consider.  I'll ask the students to look for any sound patterns.  What do you notice?

Once the students start to catch on, we'll go through the lyrics together noting all of the examples of consonance. 

Next, I'll give the definition:  The repetition of consonant sounds in the beginning, middle, or end of a word.  

The students will record this in their flip books.  

We'll look at the other examples on this slide, and I'll ask the students to write an example as well.  

Assonance Can Make it a Great Day!

10 minutes

I'll ask my students to guess at what assonance could possibly mean based on what they just learned about consonance.  

Most students will likely figure out that it involves repetition of vowels, and as you can imagine, sixth graders love to read and say this word over and over with emphasis on the first syllable.  

We'll write the definition in the flip book, and then look at some ASSONANCE examples.  While discussing the examples, I really focus on the sounds because students tend to forget that we can't assume that each vowel has the same sound.  

At the end of the lesson, I'll do a quick exit ticket with two questions.

1.  Write an example of alliteration.

2.  What is the difference between assonance and consonance?

The purpose of this exit ticket is to gauge the students' understanding of these three concepts.  I'll know if I need to reteach anything and to whom.