Monday, February 17, 2014

Figurative Language

I'm joining my blogging buddy, Emily @ The Reading Tutor OG, for her Mentor Monday Linky.  The topic this week is using mentor texts to teach figurative language.

Let's start off with a brief explanation of the term.  Figurative language is a word or phrase that goes beyond its normal everyday, literal meaning.  It is used by a writer for the sake of comparison or dramatic effect.  It often requires the reader to use background knowledge to infer the author's meaning.

Whether you are teaching students to interpret figurative language or apply it to their own writing, mentor texts are a great way to start. Here are a few of my favorite stories for teaching this skill.

Similes: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Metaphors: Tar Beach by Faith Ringold

Idioms:  Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Personification:  The Little House by Virginia Burton

You might be interested in this set of posters offered by Tiffany Matthews in her TpT store.  

Posters {Freebie} by Tiffany Matthews

Six common types of figurative language are explained in this tutorial. It's worth watching with students.  :)

What books do you use to teach figurative language?  I'd love for you to leave a comment and share your favorites.  :)

For even more mentor text ideas hop on over to The Reading Tutor OG. You'll be glad you did.



  1. The Little House is my most favorite book!! Of course....Amelia Bedelia, her books are perfect for figurative language!! My kids always loved hearing Amelia Bedelia books. Great books recommendations!
    Mrs. Saunders' Lovelies

  2. I LOVE "The Little House"!!! We also love Amelia Bedelia in my class! The kids always shake their heads when she doesn't think about what he is really supposed to do. Great suggestions!
    That First Grade Blog

  3. Excellent recommendations, Wendy! Of course Owl Moon is one of my favorites, but I am not familiar with Tar Beach. I'm glad to have access to the tutorial video you shared, and I enjoyed your post.

  4. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  5. These are great ideas! I like that you covered several types of figurative language. Tar Beach is one of my all time favorite books!

    Teaching Momster

  6. Wendy, I adore Owl Moon! It is an excellent choice for similes. I enjoyed reading your post!
    Burke's Special Kids

  7. Great post! Or course The Little House is one of my favorites as a little girl. :)
    The tutorial is fabulous and could be used with Comic Creator on Read Write Think. Thanks for finding the freebie too!
    Emily, TRT/OG

  8. The Little House is one of my all time favourites! I saw some of the original illustrations at an exhibition and they were aweome. Love the video link too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    OkinawanGirl Lisa