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Figurative Language II

Figurative Language II: Describing Abstract Ideas To expand upon the previous lesson; to explore more varieties of figurative language; to practice abstraction; to demonstrate the connections between physical sensations and abstract ideas. Optional free write topic: Explain what kind of weather you are—snow? drought? misty mornings? —and why.

Metaphor Passing For today, I switch the order of the reading and the activity, starting the day by playing TLC’s “Waterfalls.” See next page for instructions.



Step One: After discussing the “Waterfalls,” hand each student a sheet of paper with an abstract word written in the center. Good words might be: Sadness Freedom Bliss Exhaustion Disappointment Laziness

Tell the students that they have thirty seconds to write something on the sheet that could be a figurative comparison for that word. Using “Waterfalls” as an example, explain that for a word like “fast” or “dangerous” they might write down “waterfalls,” and for “slow” or “safe” they might write down “lakes.” Give them a few more examples before they start: Loneliness could be a broken crayon with no crayon box, or a melted ice cream cone, or a tree in the desert…

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Step Two: After thirty seconds, have them all pass the sheets to their left. Continue until each student has written something on several sheets of paper. Step Three: Check comprehension by having students read aloud some of the comparisons they have created. If you spot literal descriptions, ask the students to identify problems: “Is ‘freedom is beautiful’ using figurative language? Is freedom being compared to something? No? It just is beautiful. Then how do we make it figurative? What can we compare freedom to? What about ‘freedom is getting your driver’s license?’”

Step Four: Continue for a few more minutes and have students share their favorites at the end.

The Cure for IDK  

The Cure for IDK isn't a typical lesson book. It is frank, funny, and full of lessons that are simultaneously entertaining and challenging....