We have spent the last few days talking about figurative language. Students have tried their hand at identifying different types of figurative language, as well as writing their own examples. Students have analyzed figurative language in various pieces of literature and determined how the author used it to enhance the story. In addition to these activities, students have also determined the meanings of figurative phrases in context of various texts. Now students will have another opportunity to use figurative language in writing. This time, we will use it in creating our own poems. We have already studied poetry so this lesson allows students to apply figurative language in the context of poetry.
We take a look at some poems, simple poems, so students can see how the authors use figurative language. I used poems from Rainy Saturday by Jack Prulunsky. We read through each of the poems and highlighted the figurative language used.
After looking at some poems, I wanted students to try writing their own poems. I told students they could choose to write any kind of poem they wanted because in a previous unit we studied different types of poems. Before we begin, I tell students that we will all be writing poems about spring. We have had such a tumultuous winter; I thought students would love to write about spring. So I wrote the word spring on the board in a bubble map. Next, I wrote down all of the things, images, feelings, etc… that came to mind when I think of spring. I had the kids do the same. Next I told them to think about how they could use figurative language to describe their thoughts about spring. I wrote a couple of examples and then had students brainstorm their own. I circulated the room and talked with individual students to make sure they were on the right track.
Now that students have practice creating some figurative phrases to use in their poems, it’s time for them to create their poems. I think it is important for students to see me write and see the thought process that goes into writing, so I model quickly a poem I created for students to see as an example. Afterwards, students begin to write their poems. I encourage students to do a good job because it is our class’s turn to do the hall bulletin board for spring.
While students are working, I conference with groups of students who are already done writing their poems. During our conference, I ask students to peer review the poems and look for the use of figurative language and the overall content of the poem. In the group each student was asked to read their poem and then each person in the group was asked to make comments about the poem.
After students wrote their poems, I allowed students to share their work and then they published them to put on the bulletin board. We talked about how the use of figurative language in our poems enhanced our description of spring and made our poems fun to read.