Introduction to Figurative Language: Personification

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10532

Sponges talk, dishes sing, vegetables teach lessons. What kind of world is that? It's the world of personification! With videos, online work, and a sandwich, you'll write a poem using personification!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What? A talking sponge? At school?

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Look at the word "personification."

  • With what word does it begin?

Exactly! even SpongeBob knows you can't have personification without "person." Personification is a type of figurative language where human qualities (traits, characteristics, and abilities of a person) are given to animals, objects, and emotions. Personification — as we know it from cartoons and books — usually shows a non-human thing as if it were human, like SpongeBob or the items in this popular scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast:

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Personification is intended to create imagery in writing. It is a tool to help you create pictures with words, using adjectives, adverbs, and other forms of figurative language. To create personification, we take an object, animal, or emotion, and place it with a human action (verb).

Give it a try!

Take one of these everyday objects from the box on the left, and have it perform an action from the box on the right:

  • The clock watches us as we sit impatiently.
  • The TV whispers to me when I have homework.
  • My blanket cuddles me when it's cold.
  • Could you imagine a clock actually watching us sit impatiently?
  • Does a clock have eyes like a human?

Of course not! It does make a more interesting sentence and it does paint a picture in the reader's mind, which is exactly what you want to do.

Now that you have read a few examples, use the lists above to create at least five sentences of your own with examples of personification.

Share your sentences with your teacher before moving on to the Got It? section for more practice.

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