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Figurative Language Activities

Students are often required to identify figurative language techniques on standardized tests. Here are a series of figurative language activities to help students better understand and more reliably identify figurative language techniques. Also, you may be interested in these online figurative language practice tests.


Figurative Language Lesson 2
Here is another version of my figurative language lesson. This PowerPoint lesson includes definitions and examples of figurative language terms. It also includes tips for identifying these techniques. There is also a ten question practice activity at the end of the lesson.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Lesson 2. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

How to Identify Figurative Language Lesson
Here is a one slide presentation with a series of questions that one can ask. Asking these questions will lead students into identifying the correct figurative language technique. This is a great way to begin a class where you review and practice figurative language techniques.
This is a preview image of How to Identify Figurative Language Lesson. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Trashketball Game 1
Looking for a fun, figurative language review game? Check out Trashketball! Students answer questions about figurative language. Then they shoot the quiz paper from correct answers into the trash can for extra credit. A fun and exciting way to review!
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Trashketball Game 1. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Trashketball Game 2
This is a fun practice activity to help students review figurative language. It features 10 more practice problems. Students answer the questions in groups. They shoot their correct responses into the trash for extra credit. My students love this game.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Trashketball Game 2. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Trashketball Game 3
Trashketball is a review game where students work in groups to answer review questions. They get to shoot their correct answers into the trash can. What a fun and exciting way to review! Here are ten more figurative language practice problems. These should give your students a mental workout.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Trashketball Game 3. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Matching Activity
Here's a fun, hands-on activity to help your kinesthetic and visual learners become more comfortable with figurative language. This activity takes about ten or fifteen minutes to complete. Students cut out the figurative language examples and match them to the terms.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Matching Activity. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Poetry Scrap Book Project
Are you looking for a fun way for your students to review figurative language techniques and become better acquainted with poetry? Check this figurative language project out. Students make a collection of poems demonstrating simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, and idiom.
This is a preview image of Poetry Scrap Book Project. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Quiz
Looking for a way to assess your students' understanding of figurative language? Check out this figurative language quiz. It features 10 multiple-choice questions and was designed to be easy to grade.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Quiz. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Quiz 2
Here's another figurative language quiz. Use this to quickly evaluate students' understand of figurative language. This quiz has ten multiple choice questions and is easy to grade.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Quiz 2. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Test
Here is a 40 question figurative language test. This test has a lot of different question types. Match terms to definitions. Identify examples of figurative language. Read two poems and answers questions. Check it out now.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Test. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Figurative Language Test 2
Here is another 40 question figurative language test. In the first section, students match terms to definitions. Then they identify figurative language techniques. Last, compare and contrast two poems. This is a great way to assess students at the end of a unit on figurative language.
This is a preview image of Figurative Language Test 2. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

Orpheus The Lyrical: Figurative Language Video Game
Here is a high-interest figurative language video game that I wrote. Students play as the mythical Orpheus in his quest to retrieve his beloved Eurydice from Hades. They will answer literally hundreds of figurative language questions along the way. This is a fun and exciting way to review figurative language techniques and students really get into it.
This is a preview image of Orpheus The Lyrical: Figurative Language Video Game. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

 

Common Core State Standards Related to Figurative Language

Anchor Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.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.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

View All CCSS Standards Related to Figurative Language
ELA Standards: Literature

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

ELA Standards: Language

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5a – Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5a – Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.

View Source
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

 

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60 Comments

  1. Brian Pridemore

     /  November 6, 2020

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     /  November 3, 2020

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     /  January 27, 2020

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  4. Melissa Berrier

     /  February 18, 2017

    I have used your site many times in my 7th grade classroom, and I love it! Thank you so much for posting SO MUCH information and resources! Your site is truly unmatched! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  5. Maisara

     /  November 9, 2016

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  6. Krishna solasa

     /  November 8, 2016

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  7. Melissa Betonio

     /  January 6, 2016

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  8. Melissa

     /  January 6, 2016

    Thank you. Such a great help. Effort highly appreciated.♥️

    Reply
  9. Dani

     /  December 17, 2015

    Thank you so much for posting all of this! My 7th graders are not very interested in figurative language and I think the Orpheus game will definitely help!

    Reply
  10. Mrs.Chesson

     /  January 15, 2015

    I love this cite it helped me and my class.
    They learned more about figurative language and they all passed my test.Thank you for posting this cite.

    Reply
  11. Mrs.Chesson

     /  January 15, 2015

    I love this website because it helped me and my class.Thanks for sharing this site.

    Reply
  12. Robin

     /  November 16, 2014

    Thank you so much for the information. It really helped me out a lot!

    Reply
  13. mildred meigs

     /  June 19, 2014

    You didn’t answer my questions!

    Reply
  14. I love it

    Reply
  15. What a remarkable work..thanks for sharing such a great resources. My students and I will have a great fun time with poetry 🙂

    Reply
  16. Adam Hashim

     /  May 22, 2013

    thank you. it is such a valuable resource for my job as a teacher of english language for arab students.

    Reply
  17. josht@wapato

     /  April 19, 2013

    I really appreciate the content and the easy manueverability of the site. I found the things I needed in a few clicks. You are a great resource for teachers like me! THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
  18. YWigfall

     /  January 31, 2013

    This is a wonderful site. We had a great time in class reviewing figurative language with the powerpoints then doing a quick assessment with the “Trashkitball” game. My students loved earning extra credit, and they loved trying to make 3 point shots.

    Reply
  19. Moses

     /  December 5, 2012

    Hello, I would like to ask for some assistance in writing a persuasive paper. My topic is Deforestation. Areas of interest are Africa and The Amazon. I have researched information about it through my college’s library online database. I am having trouble comprehending how to go about writing it. I have been at it for about 3 weeks roughly a month to be honest. I have tried several measures yet somehow nothing has worked. I have an introduction and conclusion. However they are subject to change. I know.

    Reply
    • You have to read a lot about your topic. Become an expert. Read at least five sources thoroughly. Then you’ll be something of an expert and will have things to say about the topic.

      Reply
  20. Nicole

     /  September 26, 2012

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is difficult to find good resources that are so readily available online these days. I have used many of your lessons as formative and sometimes as part of my summative assessments.
    Love how they use actual poetry rather than other figurative language lessons which make up sentences.
    Your students are very lucky to have you!

    Reply
  21. Richard

     /  July 18, 2012

    I found this site a few days ago and have already recommended it to a few friends. Thanks to the creators of this site.

    Reply
  22. paola cabrera

     /  June 11, 2012

    thanks that work sheet help me a lot but i dont know where are the answers

    Reply
  23. Suaad

     /  April 12, 2012

    Thank you so so much! As a teacher on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this website is such a valuable resource. Thank you so much for putting your time and effort into this website. I LOVE it! I’ve already shared it with my colleagues. Much love from Tinian, CNMI!

    Reply
  24. crazy eesha

     /  March 17, 2012

    i love this gave me evrything for my test <3

    Reply
  25. didine

     /  February 2, 2012

    What grade level are these figurative language activities for?

    Reply
    • I use them with my seventh and eighth grade students. You could download the RTF files and edit them to use with any grade level though.

      Reply
  26. Michael

     /  January 29, 2012

    Thank you for this site. This has helped me out tremendously. I am a first year teacher and I was beginning to get frantic and this has helped! Hope to hear from you soon!

    Reply
  27. christine morabito

     /  January 29, 2012

    Absolutely fantastic and creative ideas!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing!!!!

    Reply
  28. On the Poetry Quiz, (answer sheet) #10 is personification. Again, thank you for such a great website! 🙂

    Reply
    • Yes, if you read the line as though the lamps were doing the luring, then it would be personification. Thank you for pointing this out and come back soon!

      Reply
  29. Wow! You have saved me hours of work! Thank you so much! What a treasure of a website. Can you double check the answer on the poetry quiz, I’m pretty sure #7 is alliteration. Also, #10, isn’t alliteration, but I’m not actually sure what it would be.

    Reply
    • Hi. Thanks for saying so.

      You’re right about #7. It is alliteration. But it is also a metaphor, since the speaker is implicitly comparing pretty words to pets. I did not offer alliteration to my students as a choice because we spent some time in class discussing this as a metaphor within the context of the poem.

      #10 is not richly alliterative, but it does have the combination “lamps luring.” I teach my students that alliteration can be as simple as two words in close proximity to one another sharing the same initial consonant sound.

      Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  30. Thanks I love this stuff!!! My students love the powerpoints as well.

    Reply
  31. I really love these lessons and especially the powerpoints… they are awesome and I use them in my classroom. Can not wait to use the detective activity for IRONY… Thanks a bunch… More more more…

    Reply
  32. Betty

     /  November 23, 2011

    This resource is outstanding. Thank you very much. My students are improving with each of the lessons. Again thank you!!!!

    Reply
  33. Linda

     /  November 15, 2011

    Fantastic site!!! I love the material. I am excited to share the powerpoints with my students. GREAT JOB! Thank You

    Reply
  34. Tomer Maimran

     /  October 25, 2011

    This site is amazing! Your worksheets are well thought out, thought inducing and my students love them! Thank you for helping me improve my craft!

    Reply
  35. Sam

     /  October 20, 2011

    Men are dogs? Wow. How unprofessional is that? We may have established a new low…

    Reply
  36. Jenny

     /  October 13, 2011

    This website is wonderful! I am going to edit these to meet my 5th grader’s learning goals. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  October 19, 2011

      That’s awesome, Jenny. That’s exactly what I encourage visitors to do. I’ll be adding more figurative language resources in the coming weeks. Stop by sometime soon.

      Reply
  37. Rebecca

     /  October 11, 2011

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!! It is very generous of you to share all of this good stuff! May lots of good karma come your way ; )

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  October 19, 2011

      It already has. Thank you for visiting Rebecca, and may you find great success in your classroom and in the profession.

      Reply
  38. Amellia

     /  September 8, 2011

    Thank you so much for doing this! These worksheets have been a tremendous help in my classroom. I also shared them with a colleague of mine, and she is using them as well.

    I love the poem examples. In fact, I searched for all the poems online and will be reading them to my classes this year.

    Again, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  39. Kate

     /  April 14, 2011

    Two things –
    This site and its activites are truly extraordinary. I appreciate the content, the cleanliness of the visuals, the breadth and the depth of what you’ve provided. I’m not one to gush, but I am truly impressed by your work here. This site must be a labor of love for you. The work you’re sharing here is very much appreciated.

    BTW, slides 5 and 9 of the Trashsketball ppt have tiny typos. Columbus was /off/ course and Annabelle Lee wants nothing more /than to be loved by/ me.

    Thank you so much for your work and sharing it!

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  April 16, 2011

      Wow, Kate, you’re too kind.
      I have updated the erred slides.

      Thanks a bunch for telling me about the typos.
      As much as I tell my students to do so,
      I really ought to proof read more.

      But, I’m sure there are more errors scattered around the site.
      If you or anyone else spots a typo please leave a comment

      or email me directly: mortonteaches@gmail.com
      and I will fix the mistake.

      Thanks again, Kate.

      Reply
  40. Regan

     /  April 11, 2011

    Please post the answers to the test

    Reply

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