ELA -Figurative Language

Figurative language is such a fun topic to teach and to learn. The types of figurative language that we are discussing in 5th grade are simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and personification. Some of these types of figurative language (namely simile and metaphor) are familiar to the students from previous grades. This year, the students are deepening their understanding of figurative language by:

  • learning about new types of figurative language
  • determining the meanings of figurative language based on the context of the passage and prior knowledge
  • distinguishing between the literal and figurative meanings of figurative language
  • Discussing why the author included figurative language; how does it impact the writing?

In order to practice these skills, the students read the short story, “Black Cowboy, Wild Horses” by Julius Lester. This story contains myriad examples of figurative language, and the students created a graphic organizer to show the figurative language that they found, the meaning of the figurative language, and the reasons why the author included figurative language.

The students also read the poem “Willow and Ginkgo” by Eve Merriam. This poem is full of similes, and the students identified the similes and started to break them down in order understand what the author was trying to say.

We will continue to study figurative language. We will be looking at how figurative language affects the tone and mood of a piece of writing, and we will begin to explore how to incorporate figurative language into our own writing.