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Lesson Six


 

Essential Element: Vocabulary

 

Framework(s):

Identify/explain figurative language such as idioms, similes and metaphors

  • R.11.5.8

  • R.11.6.8

  • R.11.7.8

  • R.11.8.8

 

Rationale:

Figurative language requires the student to look beyond the printed word to make a picture in their minds. While students may understand the meanings of individual words used in figurative language, they have a difficult time grasping the meaning of the entire phrase. The most common types of figurative language used are metaphors and similes. A metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things. A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using the words like or as. (Witherell and McMackin)

 

Materials

  • overhead with copies of Shel Silverstein’s poems “No Difference” and “Magic Carpet”

  • overhead markers

  • student copies of poems

  • highlighters

 

Direct Explanation:

Today we will begin a unit of study on figurative language. An author uses figurative language when he compares two things that are not related. The most common types are metaphors and similes. A simile is a comparison of two unlike things with the words like or as in the phrase. A metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things.” (Post definitions in the classroom.)

 

Model:

The poems on the overhead were both written by Shel Silverstein and make use of metaphors and similes. The first poem “No Difference’ uses a number of similes.” (Read poem.) “Let’s look at this line of the poem: ‘small as a peanut, big as a giant, rich as a sultan and poor as mite.’ What do you think the poet is comparing?” (Discuss with students that even though we look different in many ways, we are still the same on the inside.) “Now let’s look at the second poem ‘Magic Carpet’.” (Read poem.) “Use your imagination to paint a picture in your mind: ‘You have a magic carpet/That will whiz you through the air/To Spain or Maine or Africa/If you just tell it where...’ Can you see yourself riding on a magic carpet? What do you think the magic carpet is?” (Wait for student responses.) “This poem tells you that you have an imagination and that you can use it.”

Guided Practice:

Now, I want you to look at the first entry on the worksheet: ‘She is as cute as a bug in a rug.’ We are going to decide if this statement is a simile or a metaphor. I remember from our definitions that a simile uses the words like or as. Do you see either of these words in this statement? Yes, we see as so it is a simile. Using your highlighter, mark as in that statement. Look at the second entry: ‘He’s being a mule about that.’ Is this statement a simile or a metaphor? Right, it’s a metaphor since we are comparing his behavior to a mule’s behavior without using the word like or as.”

 

Application:

You are going to work individually today to identify the statements as similes or metaphors on the first part. After you have used your highlighter to mark the similes, you will need to write S or M on the line before each statement to indicate simile or metaphor. On the second section of today’s worksheet, you are to tell what you think the statement means. Remember, a simile uses like or as, and a metaphor does not” (see attached worksheet).

 

Tier II Additions/Accommodations:

  • Highlight similes in yellow and metaphors in blue

  • Divide worksheet into two parts—one as the page to identify and the second to interpret meaning

  • Dictate meaning to peer, paraprofessional, or teacher

 

Assessment: Given a list of 5 statements using figurative language, the student will highlight simile flags (like, as) in each statement.

 

 

Tier III Modifications:

  • Reduce number of statements to identify as similes/metaphors

  • Dictate responses for explaining meaning

  • Draw a picture to explain meaning of simile/metaphor

 

Assessment: Reduce number of statements to identify as simile/metaphors.

 

 

Tier IV Modifications:

  • Use pictures to represent the figurative language. (Go to Google Images and type in ‘hungry as a bear’ and a picture of this simile will be generated.

  • Utilize objects/pictures/icons to help demonstrate the concepts of similarities and differences.

  • Have students develop vocabulary lists that are similar or different. For example, a list of food items versus non-food items.

  • Use simple similes and metaphors: ‘Hungry as a bear.’ ‘As big as a house.’ Consider using the computer to have students generate these.

  • Help students recognize similes and metaphors as they occur in daily activities. (Your desk is a pigsty.)

 

Assessment: Take data based on the student’s performance based on the student’s IEP goals/objectives, e.g., generalized across environments, task analysis, rubrics, permanent products, and/or observation with documentation.

 

 

Tier V Modifications:

  • Utilize stories that have an appropriate communication level for the student. For example, if the student is at a basic communication level you might use the word ‘big’ as opposed to the word ‘enormous.’

  • Expose students to various types of medium that have similes and metaphors and varied levels of complexity.

  • Use multiple types of responses for students to identify similes and examples. Student may eye gaze/pointing/switches identify similes and metaphors.

  • Utilize objects/pictures/icons to teach the concepts of similarities and differences. For example, a watch and a clock are similar, because they tell time. An apple and a stop sign are similar in color, but not in function. Have student touch items that are soft versus hard/rough.

 

Assessment: Take data based on the student’s performance based on the student’s IEP goals/objectives, e.g., generalized across environments, task analysis, rubrics, permanent products, and/or observation with documentation.

 

 Figurative Language + Worksheet

 

References:

 

Nancy L. Witherell and Mary C. McMackin, (2002) Graphic Organizers and Activities for Differentiated Instruction in Reading, Scholastic, pgs. 103-108

 

Shel Silverstein (1974) Where the Sidewalk Ends, Harper & Row

 

Shel Silverstein (1992) A Light in the Attic, Harper & Row

 

Copyright © 2006 Arkansas Department of Education. All rights reserved. School districts may reproduce these materials for in-school student use only. No resale. Materials may not be reproduced, distributed or sold for Commercial use or profit. ADE employees are not authorized to waive these restrictions.

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