Figur(atives) of Speech

Figurative Language. Ugh, sometimes this makes me groan. In a K-8 school, I know that most of my language kiddos who stick with me into the older grades will be facing this within the classroom. Figurative language is particularly hard  for students with language disorders because it's not concrete. Most of my kids hate the poetry unit, which is happening right now because April is poetry month. Picking out rhyme is easy, but then I start asking my students about words that sound made up and are hard to say: alliteration, onomatopoeia (that's hard for me to spell!), metaphor, hyperbole (or hyper-bowl as they like to say), simile, and personification. These are long words and hard to remember. I keep the definitions of each figurative langauge element on my wall for my students to quickly reference. I'd rather have them get the definition correct than guess 4 times and confuse themselves more.

April 30th is going to be "Poem in Your Pocket" day at my school. As my 6th graders GROANed, I explained how Katy Perry's music is poetry and has example of figurative language and that got my students' attention. We started by talking through Katy Perry's song "Firework" which has examples of metaphors, similes, and onomatopoeia. I then asked my students about their favorite artists in order to create a new material.

Altogether, I used 42 pop songs to teach figurative language. By the end of a 2 week period, most of my students could identify similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, and hyperboles. You can find the materials I made in my TPT store. I had alot of fun with this "Figurative Lyrics" unit and my students keep asking to do it again. I promised to revisit it, but we have more goals to work on in the mean time. :)

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