At the beginning of this lesson, I have students siting in groups of 4 or 5. I give each group a verse from a song that most students are familiar with. This is a simple task to do. Actually if you go to You Tube or Google and search figurative language, numerous suggestions of songs that are kid friendly and familiar to students will come up. I have them read it and then discuss quickly what they think the singer/songwriter is trying to tell the listener in the song. I walk around and listen to the conversations. I remind students to make sure they use information and the words from the songs to support their interpretation of the song. When students have finished I ask each group to share what they thought the singer/songwriter is really trying to say.
After discussing the meanings of the verses in the songs, I ask students if they know what figurative language is. We listen to several students and then I explain that it is a device or technique that writers use to make their writing more interesting. It is a figure of speech. We move into looking at an anchor chart that has a list of different types of figure of speech. The chart has definitions and examples of several different types. We discussed the definitions of each and looked at the examples to make sure students understand how they are used in writing and the stories we read. I also give students their own anchor chart that they are able to place into an interactive notebook we have been using all year. This notebook has definitions, literary devices, examples of genres, and information pertinent to what students are learning this year in Language Arts.
I wanted students to have some time looking at more examples, so using more exerts from songs groups of students work together to sort the examples according to the type of figurative language it uses. To prepare for this, I type verses from familiar songs for students to use in this activity. Again, this is an easy task to do. Checking online, others have already done this if you search under figurative language. For copyright purposes, I can't place these online but it is an easy search to find. As students work, I circulate the room to work with each group. I use this time to scaffold where needed and engage in discussion with students.
What have we learned? We have a quick discussion about figurative language, what it is and how and why it is used.