this literary terms lesson covers seven literary terms related to poetry and other literature. this lesson plan on literary terms is appropriate for students in the upper elementary or middle school grades. explain that poets use figurative language to make their writing show the reader things in a different or interesting way. write this list of seven literary devices on the board. once you have explained each literary device, lead students in a discussion focused on examples of each type.
go through each literary device, asking students to share examples for works they have read. verify how well students have mastered the literary terms covered in this lesson plan by assigning the practice questions below. check student work using the answer key below. for your convenience, each literary device is included in the list of terms. the literary devices discussed in this lesson provide students with a great introduction to literary devices, though there are many more types of literary devices.
poetry is unlike any other genre of literature and many of the literary devices that are specific to poetry can boost students’ creativity when writing other genres, like fiction, come alive when put to use. when elementary educator julie ballew incorporated poetry lessons into her daily schedule, her students gained a deeper understanding of how to read and write poetry. in only a few minutes per day, your students will build the skills to read, analyze, and understand poetry. it will need to be large enough to accommodate the following elements: take a look at your standards, whether they are local, state, or common core. what poetry skills are students expected to learn this year? make a chart of the standards you want to cover in your poetry lessons with space to mark off the dates the skills were covered to keep track of your progress. examples of skills that your class may need to learn in their poetry lessons include: identify and use playful language (tongue twisters, palindromes—which are words or phrases that are read the same backwards as forwards—and riddles) identify multiple meaning words/homographs (or, two words that are spelled the same but that don’t necessarily have the same meaning or pronunciation) once you know what skills you want to teach, it becomes easier to narrow down your list of poems. you will also need to have a smaller version of the poem to give to each student at the end of the week.
as the year goes on, they will collect each week’s poem and build a poetry anthology of their very own! here is one suggested schedule for how to structure your week: monday: read the poem together and discuss the author’s purpose and the meaning or theme. this initial comprehension work sets up students to study the poem more closely the rest of the week. wednesday: read the poem together and discuss a grammar skill found in the poem. write the skill on a note card so you can add it to your wall list of grammar skills. thursday: read the poem together and discuss a poetic device (stanzas, line breaks, rhyme, alliteration, etc.) write the skill and a brief definition on a note card so that you can add it to your wall list of poetry skills. you can lead a discussion about inferences they are making or give them a copy of the poem so they can highlight the rhyming words or draw a picture of how it makes them feel.
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