Developing Figurative Language

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SWBAT develop their own metaphors as descriptive and rhetorical devices.

Big Idea

Beginning a poem with a metaphor provides instant tone and suggestion of theme.


Writing Prompts/Power of Word Choice

25 minutes

To get them thinking metaphorically on their own, their first task will be to write three metaphorical prompts like yesterday’s on their own—they can use the worksheet for inspiration regarding form, but their topics should be their own about school.  This activity will move them to the next step of considering their own topics and how the language of the first part of the sentence leads to the argument of the metaphor (continuing the type of work noted in Writing Standard 2d regarding using figurative language techniques).   I will give the students ten or fifteen minutes to write these, at which point they will choose one they like the most and write it on the board.

Before launching in to writing, I will go down the list on the board and ask the class what tone is being suggested by the prompts, if any.  If there isn’t a tone suggested, we will brainstorm some word changes in the prompt that could add that.  The purpose of this step is to show students part of the revising process, and reminding them of how both the theme and rheme of a sentence should do some of the work of building ideas, and also how more specific synonyms of a word can add depth to meaning.

Writing Poems from Metaphor

30 minutes

At this point, students will choose one of the prompts to complete, giving them another in their set of started poems to choose from.  As we did yesterday, we will write and then share the responses to get a sense of the possibilities provided by figurative language.

After sharing, the students will have the remainder of the class to take one of the figurative language sentences they wrote in the past two days and continue it into a longer poem in their journals, adding to the set of drafts they have to choose from for revision.