Lessons & Units :: Words with Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art 5th Grade Unit

Lesson 5: Figurative Language

Lesson Plan

Words with Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art

Words with Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art
Learning Goal
Classify various types of figurative language found in a poem.
Approximately 2 Days (35-40 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: Figurative Language Strips, “The Final Deployment”, Figurative Language Identifier, Example Figurative Language Chart 1, Example Figurative Language Chart 2, Figurative Language Worksheet (Student Packet, page 22)
Not Provided: Scissors, chart paper, markers, Words With Wings selected by Belinda Rochelle
  • Before the Lesson

    Read the poems and complete the Student Packet Worksheets for “Growing Up,” “Legacies,” “My People,” and “Human Family.”

  • Activation & Motivation

    Divide the class into five groups and give each group one Figurative Language Strip. Hand out one copy of the poem “The Final Deployment” to each group and read it aloud. Have students read the definition and example on their Figurative Language Strip. Instruct each group to find at least one example of the type of Figurative Language on their strip. Ask groups to write a word or phrase from the poem that matches the type of figurative language they were assigned. When students have finished, ask the class to come together and read the poem aloud. Each group will read the sentence that corresponds with their Figurative Language Strip.

  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that poems often include figurative language, which we learned in our Genre Lesson is an Element of Poetry. I will define figurative language as language enriched by words that provide detailed images and figures of speech. I will explain that figurative language in poetry is often used to add to a poem’s meaning and to enhance the images in the poem. As we saw in our previous activity, one poem can display numerous figurative language elements in it.

    I will hand out the Figurative Language Identifier to familiarize ourselves with the various types of figurative language that could be used in a poem. I will use the handout to describe each type of figurative language and give an example of each. I will write them as categories on chart paper or the board. Note: Hand out the Figurative Language Identifier to students. As you go through each example on the handout, replicate the handout on chart paper or the board.

    I will read “Auction Street” aloud. Then, I will go back and identify the figurative language used in the poem. I will look for language that enhances imagery or meaning in the poem. Once I identify a phrase or line, I will classify it into the type of figurative language in which it belongs. For example, I see that the line “the beat throbbing up through our shoes,” shows personification because it gives a human characteristic (throbbing) to a non-human thing (the beat). (I will have prewritten this phrase on an index card or sticky note, and I will tape it under the appropriate category of Figurative Language—Personification on the chart.

    I will continue to identify examples of figurative language in “Auction Street” and classify them with prepared index cards by type of Figurative Language. Note: Refer to Example Figurative Language Chart 1 to walk students through identifying the various types of figurative language used in the poem and for examples to write on the index cards.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I classify various types of figurative language in a poem?" Students should answer that you should read the poem fully and then analyze each phrase, sentence, or stanza to identify language that enhances the meaning or images in a poem. Students can use the Figurative Language Identifier to figure out which type of figurative language is used in the poem.

  • Guided Practice

    will identify and classify the various types of figurative language used in the poem “How Poems Are Made.” We will divide our class into three groups. Each group will receive index cards on which to write phrases or examples from the poem that portray figurative language. On chart paper or the board, we will create a chart listing the five types of figurative language we have discussed: alliteration, simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole.

    One person from each group will come up to the chart paper or board and tape their index cards under the type of figurative language that matches the examples/phrases from the poem. Another person from the group will explain why this example/phrase belongs under this category of figurative language. Note: See Example Figurative Language Chart 2 for how to set up the chart. Each group will receive one point for correctly classifying and categorizing the types of figurative language in the poem. The team with the most points will win a poetic prize of teacher’s choice.

  • Independent Practice

    will read “Rhapsody” and identify and classify figurative language used in the poem. You may use your Figurative Language Identifier as you complete your Figurative Language Worksheet. (See page 22 in the Student Packet.) On your Figurative Language Worksheet, you will record phrases from the poem that are examples of figurative language, and you will place them in the proper column. You will prepare to share your findings with the class.

  • Reflective Practice

    will discuss the types of figurative language we have found in “Rhapsody.” We will engage in a brief discussion around the question, "How do the different kinds of figurative language enhance the meaning of a poem?"

Build Student Vocabulary obvious

Tier 2 Word: obvious
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story “I note the obvious differences / between each sort and type, / but we are more alike, my friends, / than we are unalike.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Obvious means clear and easy for anyone to see or understand. When the speaker of the poem says that she notes obvious differences between different people she means that she notes the differences are easiest to see – people’s hair or skin color, for example.
Students repeat the word Say the word obvious with me: obvious
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts The answer to today’s pop quiz was obvious – it was really clear and easy to understand. It was obvious to everyone that Maya was really upset about her grandmother because her eyes were red and she kept her head down in class.
Students provide examples Can you give an example of a question that has an answer that is obvious? Start by saying, “An obvious question is ________________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? obvious
Additional Vocabulary Words encouraged, dependent, thrive, bemuse, declare

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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