Practicing Personification

Contributor: Dru Cartier. Lesson ID: 13690

How many instances of personification do you think you hear or read every day? Can you guess how many of your favorite songs use this amazing literary device? What about your own writing? Find out!


Grammar, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Is personification just a literary device?
  • Or is it part of our everyday lives, and we don't even realize it?

thoughtful gorilla

You be the judge in this skill-sharpening lesson as you look at music and poetry examples with subtle personification.

  • Do you remember what personification is?

Try this quick challenge to measure your skills.

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Personification is, quite simply, when human characteristics are given to something not human.

old town drawing

Personification dates back to possibly even before the 16th century. Today, though, we are actually exposed to it daily.

  • Have you ever listened to songs by The Beatles? Michael Jackson? Katy Perry?

Then you've probably jammed out to personification without even realizing it.

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Let's take a look at one of the most famous songs in history, "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles.

  • Can you spot the personification?

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Good job!

I bet you never realized you were hearing personification from the most famous boy band ever.

The phrase "Here comes the sun" indicates that the sun is coming toward the narrator, which implies the sun is capable of choosing where it goes. That is a human quality; therefore, it is personification.

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Now let's look at another great artist, Michael Jackson, and his song "Thriller".

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You probably hear this song every Halloween and never noticed that personification!

Saying that terror could take a sound or that horror could look someone in the eyes gives each of those human qualities.

Now, let's take a look at poetry with personification.

cow jumped over the moon

  • Remember Mother Goose nursery rhymes?

See if you can spot the personification in this example.

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Great job!

I think you've got it! Head over to the Got It? section to challenge those skills.

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