Poetic Devices Quiz & Limericks!

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Identify and apply knowledge of figurative language. Write poetry that fits a traditional organizational style.

Big Idea

Time to show what you know about poetic devices. Then, celebrate St. Patrick’s with a limerick or two.

Time for Practice

10 minutes

In addition to studying the definitions of the terms in their poetry dictionaries for today’s quiz, students completed a packet of worksheets with a focus on similes, metaphors, personification and hyperbole for homework.

These worksheets appear in Context Clues & Figurative Language by Linda Ward Beech (Scholastic Teaching Resources, 2006). This work gives students a chance to apply what they know about figurative language.  While we go over the worksheets in class they must explain their thinking and the meaning of the figurative language in the passage, as well as to find an additional example.

Quiz Time

20 minutes

The first portion of the poetic devices quiz is quite straight forward. Students simply match a term with its definition. There is one more definition than there are terms listed, so I ask students to write next to it the name of the word defined for an extra point. An answer key is here.

For the next portion of the quiz, I ask students to turn the paper over. One at a time, I show them three poems and read each aloud twice. Then students answer these two questions for each poem:

  1. What figurative language is the most prominent in the poem? Include an example.
  2. Why do you think the author chose this type of figurative language? How does it add to the meaning of the poem?

Their responses give me valuable information about a student’s level of proficiency analyzing poems. Then I can work closely with the students that are having trouble finding the deeper meaning in a poetry.

The poems I use this year are the “Bees, Bothered by Bold Bears, Behave Badly” by Walter E. Brooks, “To Walk in Warm Rain” by David McCord and “Fog” by Carl Sandburg. They are in a packet I often use for  Scavenger Hunt Homework but did not do so this year which made them a great option for this quiz.

Time to Write: Limericks

20 minutes

Today happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. So what better way to celebrate than with limericks? The attached limerick packet includes examples and a worksheet that walks students through the writing process. They have great fun with this and are eager to share their creations. For examples, see here and here. See here for some reflection on how the activity turned out: