Poetry Dictionary

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Identify and apply knowledge of figurative language.

Big Idea

Create a mnemonic device for remembering types of figurative language.

What is SHAMPOR?

15 minutes

Before class I write the letters S-H-A-M-P-O-R on the board and begin class by asking students to decipher the hidden message in these letters. (Ah, no, it is not a misspelling of the stuff you wash your hair with!) There are clues around the room, of course. The agenda lets them know the topic of today’s lesson is figurative language and the ELA Vocabulary board holds some hints as well. Little by little they come to the solution. These letters are a mnemonic device for remembering some of the most common types of figurative language:

S = simile

H = hyperbole (exaggeration)

A = assonance & alliteration

M = metaphor

P = personification

O = onomatopoeia (Boy, whoever came up this one really loved vowels!)

R = repetition, rhyme, rhythm

For more on SHAMPOR click here.

Poetry Dictionary

30 minutes

Of course, it is not enough to be able to simply list these types of figurative language, we need to know what their meanings, be able to identify one when we see it, and be able to create our own. 

To that end, I supply students with a poetry dictionary graphic organizer and a packet with the all the information needed to complete the dictionary. Each will be a useful resource as we make our way through this unit on analyzing poetry. In case some students benefit from having the definitions already filled in on the graphic organizer see here.

Time to Revise

15 minutes

Once students complete the dictionary it is time to put it to good use. I ask students to take out the color poems started the day before and to revise a line or two by applying at least one of the types of figurative language from their dictionary. See here for an example