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Figurative Language Worksheets

Common Core State Standards demand that students identify figurative language techniques. This means that your standardized test is likely to question figurative language knowledge. Students can prepare for this through repeated exposure to figurative language. You can do this by studying figurative language poems, activities, or the worksheets on this page.

These worksheets will give students rapid fire practice with figurative language techniques. Not only must students identify the techniques, they must explain their answers. This approach forces students to consider their answers. It also helps teachers identify misunderstandings.


A Note about Formats

RTF – These are text files. You can edit these in a word processor, such as Microsoft Word.
PDF – These files are great for printing because they maintain their formatting no matter what.
Answer Keys – These pages contain advertisements, but the advertisements disappear upon printing. That means that you don’t have to worry about printing the ads.
Ereading Worksheets – These are online versions of these worksheets. Students can complete these on a web-connected computer, tablet, or phone. They can save, print, or email their results as a PDF file. Try these out if the technology is available.

Figurative Language Worksheet 1 – This ten-problem figurative language worksheet gives students practice identifying figurative language techniques. Read the examples, identify the technique, and explain your answer.
Figurative Language Worksheet 1 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 1 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 1 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 1 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 1 | Ereading Worksheet (12 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 2 – Here is another ten-problem worksheet to give students practice identifying figurative language techniques. Read the poetic snippets, identify the techniques, and explain your answers.
Figurative Language Worksheet 2 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 2 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 2 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 2 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 2 | Ereading Worksheet (12 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 3 – This worksheet packs a double dose of figurative language practice: four sides and 27 problems! Students determine whether each snippet contains an example of simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, or idiom. Students are also required to explain their responses.
Figurative Language Worksheet 3 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 3 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 3 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 3 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 3 | Ereading Worksheet (20 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 4 – Ten more practice problems from classic poems to help students master figurative language. Read the examples, identify the techniques, explain your answers.
Figurative Language Worksheet 4 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 4 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 4 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 4 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 4 | Ereading Worksheet (10 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 5 – Here is another worksheet with 10 more practice problems to help students master figurative language. Read the examples, determine the technique, and explain your answer.
Figurative Language Worksheet 5 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 5 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 5 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 5 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 5 | Ereading Worksheet (10 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 6 – Do you need more practice with figurative language? This 23 problem worksheet with four pages should keep students busy for a little while. Identify the figurative language technique used in each example and explain your answers.
Figurative Language Worksheet 6 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 6 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 6 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 6 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 6 | Ereading Worksheet (20 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 7 – What’s better than figurative language practice? More figurative language practice! Here is another double-sided figurative language worksheet with ten problems. The language used in this worksheet is easier to understand.
Figurative Language Worksheet 7 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 7 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 7 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 7 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 7 | Ereading Worksheet (10 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 8 – Yet another four page figurative language worksheet to give you or your students practice. This one contains language that is easier to understand.
Figurative Language Worksheet 8 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 8 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 8 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 8 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 8 | Ereading Worksheet (20 Questions)

Figurative Language Worksheet 9 – Here are 22 more figurative language problems. Read the poetry snippets, identify the figurative language techniques, and explain your answers.
Figurative Language Worksheet 9 | RTF
Figurative Language Worksheet 9 | PDF
Figurative Language Worksheet 9 | Preview
Figurative Language Worksheet 9 | Answers
Figurative Language Worksheet 9 | Ereading Worksheet (20 Questions)

Lord of the Flies Figurative Language Worksheets: Four page, 26 question worksheet featuring examples of figurative language taken from one of my favorite books, Lord of the Flies. Students determine what figure of speech is used and explain their answers.
Figurative Language in Lord of the Flies | RTF
Figurative Language in Lord of the Flies | PDF
Figurative Language in Lord of the Flies | Preview
Figurative Language in Lord of the Flies | Answers
Figurative Language in Lord of the Flies | Ereading Worksheet

Figurative Language of Edgar Allen Poe – Here’s a figurative language worksheet featuring lines from stories and poems of Edgar Allen Poe. Students write which technique is being used on the line and then explain how they figured out the answer.
Figurative Language of Edgar Allan Poe | RTF
Figurative Language of Edgar Allan Poe | PDF
Figurative Language of Edgar Allan Poe | Preview
Figurative Language of Edgar Allan Poe | Answers
Figurative Language of Edgar Allan Poe | Ereading Worksheet (10 Questions)

Figurative Language of O. Henry: Twenty-three selected examples of figurative language from O. Henry’s short stories. Β This double-sided worksheet will give students plenty of practice.
Figurative Language of O. Henry | RTF
Figurative Language of O. Henry | PDF
Figurative Language of O. Henry | Preview
Figurative Language of O. Henry | Answers
Figurative Language of O. Henry | Ereading Worksheet (10 Questions)

Figurative Language of Shakespeare: Shakespeare is not only a master of the theater, he is also a master of figurative language. His language is also a bit more difficult for most students to decode, so this is not a recommended activity for novices. Here are 23 figurative language examples used in Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, history plays, and sonnets.
Figurative Language of Shakespeare | RTF
Figurative Language of Shakespeare | PDF
Figurative Language of Shakespeare | Preview
Figurative Language of Shakespeare | Answers
Figurative Language of Shakespeare | Ereading Worksheet (20 Questions)

Figurative Language Video Game: Check out the first game on my new educational video game site ereading games. In this game students will answer literally hundreds of figurative language review questions while playing a fun and exciting game and learning about mythology.
Orpheus the Lyrical – Figurative Language Review Game

I also have figurative language tests and worksheets on poetic devices.

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.

Expand to View All Common Core State 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.

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Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

 

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150 Comments

  1. Jaclyn

     /  April 20, 2012

    This is the most AMAZING website I have every stumbled upon in my 12 years of teaching! I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for these resources! Outstanding work. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  2. Chas

     /  April 16, 2012

    Thank you so much for this website! It’s really helped make explaining figurative language to my sixth grader easier by giving me a clearer understanding. Are the answers to the worksheet, Figurative Language of I. Henry, available to view? Thanks for you help πŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. Diana

     /  April 9, 2012

    I do appreciate when a fellow colleague shares such wonderful work for others to use. I am wondering where the answers to O. Henry are located. I was able to find all of the rest.
    Again, thanks for the superb worksheets.

    Reply
  4. Greg

     /  April 1, 2012

    Thanks, you saved me from so much extra work.

    Reply
  5. Sue

     /  March 31, 2012

    Did it really have to be two male names? Yes Sam can be a girls name but I don’t want to have to explain anything in 5th grade.

    Reply
  6. Sue

     /  March 31, 2012

    I was happy to find the great list of Idioms until I went to use them in class. One student asked me about the one that said the Sam and Paul… were going to tie the knot. A heads up would have helped.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for wonderful worksheets. I don’t know where you get the time. One request is the answer key for the Lord of The Flies, figuritive language work sheet.

    Reply
  8. Alexis

     /  March 18, 2012

    Wonderful content!! Thanks for making such a cool thing free. Told the whole team at school first thing Monday!

    Reply
  9. Ms. Rowerdink

     /  March 15, 2012

    I need an answer key

    Reply
  10. Shannon Doll

     /  March 13, 2012

    THANK YOU!
    These are fantastic!
    These are exactly what I needed today!

    Reply
  11. Saudat Banke Balogun

     /  March 9, 2012

    Thank you so much! This is really cool and I’m loving it.

    Reply
  12. Kathryn

     /  March 2, 2012

    Wonderful. Most FL worksheets I find are overly simplistic and don’t contain the kind of figurative language that kids are ACTUALLY going to encounter in their reading/lives. These are top-notch. Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Renae

     /  February 27, 2012

    I think it’s awesome when someone as yourself takes the time to create something so helpful and then willingly shares it with other colleges! You are exactly the type of person I would love to team with. Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Elaine

     /  February 24, 2012

    Thank you. This website has saved me much time and energy. I love that there is a “how do you know” box for each figurative language example. “Where is your proof?” or “What is your text evidence?” is my favorite saying.

    Reply
  15. elaine

     /  February 23, 2012

    Amazing. Just what I need. I’ve been using the song lyrics of Bruno Mars, Pink Floyd and Katy Perry for teaching examples of figurative language but your examples are way more thought provoking and will be a great challenge. Thanks so much

    Reply
    • Song lyrics are a great way to review figurative language/poetic devices, and kids love them. Thanks for this clever suggestion.

      Reply
  16. Mrs. Babsellers

     /  February 20, 2012

    My goodness Mr. Morton, your creativity and higher level-thinking skills blow me away! What a gem you are to have created and shared these worksheets and powerpoints. I often need something for my gifted learners that encourages explanation and challenges them, and thanks to you, I’ve found it! Many thanks.

    Reply
  17. Blake

     /  February 14, 2012

    Love the worksheets! These will be a big help in my GED Prep class!

    Reply
  18. molly

     /  January 29, 2012

    These are wonderful. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you giving these away! You’re generosity and kindness has save so many teachers hours and hours.

    Cheers to you.
    Many many thanks!

    Reply
  19. Richard

     /  January 23, 2012

    Thank you so much. I am a humanities teacher who has had yr 7 English dumped on me. The worksheets are so time saving for me.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear it… and happy to help. You’ll love English once you get in it a bit; I’m sure of it. πŸ˜€

      Reply
  20. Lisa Garcia

     /  January 22, 2012

    Thank you for making your hard work available for the benefit of others. They have been a huge help to me. You should be very proud of your efforts.

    Reply
  21. guest

     /  January 9, 2012

    Thanks! I always appreciate freebies.

    Reply
  22. Thank you!! These are just what I was searching for…get so tired of making my own sometimes! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  23. Mrs. Hession

     /  November 29, 2011

    Wanted to say that these practice worksheets are excellent and I am already seeing some improvement in skills through practice with them and re-teaching with your powerpoints. Thanks for your hard work!

    Reply
  24. Kate

     /  November 28, 2011

    Thank you for sharing these! These handouts are wonderful.

    Reply
  25. Ms. Griffin

     /  November 6, 2011

    Thank you for the engaging worksheets. I will share these with the beginning teachers at my school.

    Reply
  26. Maria

     /  October 31, 2011

    “touch of pride” I am thinking this may not be personification (as the example states). Maybe more of an idiom- as it is meaning a little bit of pride. Perhaps if it was “touched by pride” or “a touch from pride” it would be personification. Thoughts?

    Thanks for the worksheets. They are so helpful!! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  November 21, 2011

      I suppose it depends on how you interpret it.
      Personally, I feel that the study of figurative language is not an exact science, as understanding may vary based on interpretation. And once you get into the realm of idioms, forget about it…. Most idioms are in fact other examples of figurative language: similes, metaphors, etc. Anyway, you raise an interesting point. One with which I do not necessarily disagree. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  27. Patricia Taylor

     /  October 19, 2011

    These are awesome worksheets and I love the .rtf form. It allows me to input material in that we have discussed and they are currently familiar with….
    Thank you so much for all the effort you have invested in this work.

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  October 19, 2011

      That’s exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks for visiting and sharing your strategy.

      Reply
  28. Okechukwu

     /  October 8, 2011

    Wow what a site, I love it, I love it, and I love it

    Reply
  29. Jay Gowen

     /  October 5, 2011

    Wow! These are the best worksheets I’ve ever seen. (NOT hyperbole) Practice is the only way for kids to learn these concepts, which unfortunately often comes across as mindless (personification) and rote. Yet these feel so authentic. Thanks for spending the time putting together such a great resource and for sharing with all of us.

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  October 5, 2011

      Thank you kindly, Mr. Gowen.
      I value your use of figurative language in the comment.

      Reply
  30. Alberta Ross Dunbar

     /  September 20, 2011

    These activities are on fire. I love them. Thank you! I am beginning a unit of figurative language, and this fits everything that I will need. Once again thank you so much. Hope I will be able to share with you sometime in the furture!

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  September 20, 2011

      Oh dang! On fire? That’s great figurative language right there. Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  31. Thank you for some higher level worksheets that cover figurative language. These are very helpful.

    Reply
  32. Littweeter1

     /  September 2, 2011

    Thanks a lot for sharing all these! I certainly hope this will help my ESL students appreciate the English Language more. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  33. Kristin

     /  March 28, 2011

    I love the sources and this is exactly what my students needed. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  34. Lori

     /  March 23, 2011

    Thank you for some higher level worksheets that cover figurative language. These are very helpful! My kids were so excited about the worksheet with some music lyrics, they actually tried to find from where the lines that they couldn’t place came!

    Reply
  35. Sharon

     /  March 17, 2011

    Thank you I especially liked that the students have to answer-How do you figure? This helped to reinforce the meanings of the figurtive language words.

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  March 17, 2011

      Thanks, Sharon. And thank you for stopping by the site.

      Reply
  36. Michilene

     /  March 9, 2011

    I used your activities to prepare for our state exam. It was wonderful and helped the student tremendously. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  37. Lisa

     /  March 7, 2011

    I love your activity sheets. Thanks do much for sharing.

    Reply
  38. Ronke Ogunleye

     /  March 4, 2011

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  39. T. Hollingsworth

     /  March 4, 2011

    Thanks, at 8:30 a.m. finding this was exactly what I need for my 7th graders extra practice tomorrow.

    Reply
  40. Carol Clark

     /  February 28, 2011

    Thank for doing this worksheets. It really helps my students review before state testing. It is hard to find such great examples as these.

    Reply
  41. John

     /  February 27, 2011

    These are perfect for my figurative language warmups. Thank you!

    Reply
  42. kat julian

     /  February 16, 2011

    I too enjoyed using these. I added a few parts but this was such a wonderful framework to begin my Fig. lang lessons! Thank you for all the work.

    Reply
  43. Mrs. Lienhard

     /  February 15, 2011

    Wow! Thank you very much for all your work. These worksheet are great!

    Reply
  44. Barbie

     /  February 14, 2011

    My goodness. Who cares about the answers? I can figure those out. These are awesome worksheets. Throwing my students for a curve!!! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  February 14, 2011

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Barbie. I appreciate it. For those concerned about the answers, about half of them have been posted.

      Reply
  45. Would you please email me the correct answers

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  January 26, 2011

      I apologize for any inconvenience.
      I’ll post the answers as soon as I can.

      Reply
  46. mandy cullen

     /  January 15, 2011

    answers?

    Reply
  47. sherrell coleman

     /  January 10, 2011

    Where are the correct answers?

    Reply
  1. How to Make Similes | Ask About Education
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  3. How to Make a Metaphor

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