poem by Lisa Varchol Perron , illustrated by Gabriel Evans

Learning intention:

I am learning to understand and experiment with sound devices and imagery, including simile, metaphor and personification.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify definitions for types of figurative language.
  • I can identify figurative language in the poem.
  • I can compose my own example of figurative language.

Essential Knowledge:

Inform students that they will be learning about figurative language. Display the following definitions, without revealing what each definition defines:

  1. Compares two alike things, saying one is the other, such as ‘all the world’s a stage’
  2. Allocates human traits to inanimate objects, such as ‘the wind grabbed at my clothes’
  3. Compares two alike things, often using ‘like’ or ‘as’, such as ‘white as a sheet’

Tell students that one definition is for each of the following: simile, metaphor and personification.

Place students in small groups and instruct them to decide which element of figurative language matches each definition.

Once students have had time to discuss their ideas, share responses. Discuss students ideas, resolving any misconceptions. Ensure students correctly identify match the definitions in the same order from above as:

  1. Metaphor
  2. Personification
  3. Simile

Read Invitation. Discuss examples of each of the types of figurative language in the poem. For example:

leaves, like yellow sequins (an example of a simile)

a gentle invitation (an example of a metaphor)

that whispers, ‘Let it snow.’  (an example of personification)

Discuss features of the current season (winter). For example bare trees, wind-swept days, rainy skies, cool nights.

Inform students that they will be composing their own examples of figurative language based on winter, to include in their own poem.

Collaboratively compose examples for each type of figurative language included in the poem (simile, metaphor and personification). Sample responses include,

  • Bare trees like spindly arms (simile)
  • Rain a thick waterfall (metaphor)
  • The cold air begging for sun (personification)

Allocate each group one of the elements of figurative language (simile, metaphor or personification). Instruct them to compose their own example of a line about the season that features their allocated form of figurative language.

Once students have had time to compose their lines, inform students they’ll be combining their examples of figurative language to make an oral class poem about winter.

Instruct each group to orally share their lines in turn, to create a whole-class poem. Record the poem using voice recording software.

If time allows, students can repeat this process, this time working on a different type of figurative language.