Go Figure! Discovering Figurative Language in Fiction Literature

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10054

Are you bored stiff? Does studying language leave you high and dry? This lesson will fill you to the brim with videos, games, and projects, so you can learn to recognize and use figurative language!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


I slept like a log. Really?

The test was a breeze. Huh?

My luggage weighs a ton. How do you carry it?

Opportunity is knocking at your door. Well, answer it!

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. So many Ps in one sentence!

Figurative language is everywhere! Learn about the types of figurative language by designing an illustrated dictionary, creating your own postcards and comic strip, and other fun activities!

As you prepare to dive into this lesson, here are some questions to think about as you work through figurative language:

  • What is figurative language?
  • Where can you find figurative language?
  • How does figurative language make a story come to life?
  • What is the difference between a simile and a metaphor?
  • Can you compare and contrast hyperbole and personification?
  • Can you contrast alliteration and onomatopoeia?

Figurative language is a literary device used by authors. It is language that uses words and expressions with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation. Types of figurative language include:

  • metaphor
  • simile
  • personification
  • symbolism
  • alliteration
  • onomatopoeia

Each type of figurative language is different. View the following videos to learn about figurative language:

Figurative Language from SchoolTube, Inc.:


Figurative Language in MOVIE CLIPS! by Ms. Meredith:

Visit the following link to read about figurative language: Figurative Language List from the udemy blog.

Now that you are sharp as a tack regarding figurative language, create an illustrated dictionary for the types of figurative language.

  1. Define these types of figurative language:
  • metaphor
  • simile
  • symbolism
  • personification
  • hyperbole
  • alliteration
  • onomatopoeia
  1. Include an example of each type.
  2. For each example, draw a colorful picture of the expression to help you remember the meaning of the term.
  3. Visit makingbooks.com for different book style ideas for your illustrated dictionary.

Use the Graphic Organizer - Venn Diagram from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar to compare and contrast each of the following pairs of figurative language:

  • simile and metaphor
  • hyperbole and personification
  • alliteration and onomatopoeia

Once you've got it all sewn up, move on to the Got It? section to search out more examples!

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