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Word Learning Strategies: Understanding Figurative Language

Word Learning Strategies: Understanding Figurative Language

Author: Jodi Owens-Kristenson
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Close Reading: Analysis of Figurative Language

Understanding figurative language will help you meet Common Core Standard 4:  

Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

This tutorial will help you understand the different types of figurative language and some reasons authors may chose to use these types in their writing.

While viewing the presentation on Word Learning Strategies: Analyzing Figurative Language Through Close Reading do the following:

  1. Record types of figurative language described in the presentation.
  2. Write a brief description of each type of figurative language.
  3. Provide one meaningful example either from the presentation or your own reading.


Source: Jodi Owens-Kristenson

Word Strategies: Identifying and Analyzing Figurative Language

This tutorial will help you better understand the types of figurative language authors use to create word pictures in the minds of the reader.

Source: Jodi Owens-Kristenson

Practice Identifying Types of Figurative Language

Try this Quizzlet game on types of figurative language to practice your understanding following the screencast.  Review the flash cards.  Play Scatter one time and play it a second time, trying to beat your time.

Analyzing Figurative Language in Poetry

Figurative language adds interest to the writing in a text.  They also give readers a great deal of information with just a few words.  Adding interest and conveying a big idea in a few words is one of the reasons figurative language is used in poetry.  Find a poem that you enjoy.  If you do not have a favorite, use the following web sites to find a poem to use for this task:

 All Poetry 

Poem Hunter

Print the poem or create a pdf of the poem.  Annotate the poem by identifying the types of figurative language used in the poem and what message the author intended by using that specific figurative language option.  For instance,  Emerson in his poem The Snowstorm used a metaphor in this line, "Come, see the north wind's masonry."  This is a metaphor comparing a snowdrift to a brick wall.  The author used this to illustrate how hard and compact the snow is in a snowstorm.