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SWBAT recognize and interpret figurative language in context.

Big Idea

How do authors use metaphors as vivid representations to compare two unlike objects with common ground?

Introduction to Metaphors

20 minutes

This unit's purpose is to give students opportunities to understand an author's choices for using literary devices and how those choices add meaning to the text, which falls in line with the underlying idea of the Craft and Structure standards in the Common Core ELA framework.  Because my students encounter complex figurative devices in the higher level texts that they read (many of my students are reading above grade level at this point), I chose literary devices related to reading standard 4 that I deem appropriate for my class of deep, philosophical intellectuals.

Students start this lesson by viewing my Figurative Language Flipchart presentation that reviews our goal to recognize and interpret figurative language in context.  This lesson will focus on metaphors. I assess student's prior knowledge by using the KWL chart in the flip chart.  What students want to learn will be incorporated in my lesson today.  Then, we focus on the flipchart content that defines metaphors and give examples.  I look up various metaphors for students to view and translate the meaning of these strong comparisons.  Some of the metaphors we discussed are: 

  • The snow is a white blanket. 
  • America is a melting pot.  
  • Her lovely voice was music to his ears. 
  • Life is a rollercoaster.

Teacher guidance during these conversations are much needed to translate the meaning of most of the metaphors.  It is still a difficult concept for most second graders. 

To re-engage students, we view a Metaphors in Pop Music Video.  Students are familiar with songs in this video and can relate this audio-visual experience to real world situations.  The tempo, rhyme, patterns, and lyrics serve as mnemonics in recalling examples of metaphors and similes.

Practice with Text

15 minutes

I read aloud a Sample Poem to students, asking students to pay attention to metaphors within the poem.  I projected the poem on my Promethean board as I read it out loud a second time.  Then, I model highlighting the sections of text to identify one or two hyperboles within the poem.  I ask students to identify more examples of metaphors in the poem and use the citing metaphor form to write the examples.  We then share our findings to the class and discuss the characteristics of their metaphors.

Students need ample practice to identify and analyze metaphors in text.  We make sure to discuss how the use of metaphors heightens sensory images and understanding of text.  These concrete samples help students understand the context in which metaphors are used as well as their intended purpose to provide vivid comparisons that are not meant to be taken literally.

Creating Metaphors

20 minutes

Using the Cooperative Learning Rubric and Figurative Language Rubric as guidelines, students meet in assigned cooperative teams to create up to five examples of metaphors.  Students can use resources such as laptops, books, articles that I keep in my classroom for research purposes.  Each team member has a role and norms are followed.

Sharing Out

20 minutes

Each team presents the metaphors they created within their sentences. Teams share their metaphor Presentation with their  Metaphor Sample serving as visual aide.The class and I give feedback for each team via the figurative language rubric.  The leader of each team also does a self-assessment of each team's performance, following the cooperation rubric.  We discuss concerns and suggestions to improve for next time.  Common Core encourages self-assessments and reflection. The results are student ownership and effective communication during lessons.