Lesson Plan - Get It!
If an author wrote, “Logan was so hungry he could eat an elephant,” could Logan really eat an elephant?
- Why would an author say that if he didn’t mean it literally?
Authors do use statements that are logically not possible and exaggerations to get their point across.
These figures of speech are called figurative language. Good authors will use figurative language many times throughout their work to engage the reader and add more detail to the character development, action, or setting of a story.
There are many types of figurative speech, but today you are going to focus on four of them: metaphor, simile, personification, and hyperbole. You can see the meanings of each of these in the graphic below:
“She had the heart of a lion!" What does that mean? A lion is brave and courageous, so when it is said that a character has the heart of a lion, the author means she is brave and courageous.
If you say, "My backpack weighs a ton," what do you really mean? Does the backpack weigh 2000 pounds? I hope not! You used hyperbole to explain that it feels extremely heavy!
Likewise, by stating your mom is a busy bee, you used simile to express she works hard and does not stop.
Can lightning really dance across the sky? It can't, but this use of personification means the lightning is flashing and striking.
It can be tricky to decipher which type of figurative language is being used by a writer. Watching this identifying figurative language video from ereading worksheets will give you great questions to ask yourself when trying to identify what type of figurative language you are reading:
Continue on to the Got It? section to examine some writings for figurative language.