Friday, March 27, 2015

It Figures (Figurative Language)! Five for Friday + a Freebie!

I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

We actually had standardized testing this week. I teach at a private school for kids with learning differences, so our standardized testing is a little different from public schools. We only tested for 3 days. Sooooo, I started my figurative language unit last week, and I continued it on Monday, then we picked up with it today (Friday). 
On Monday, we practiced some personification skills. I showed them some YouTube clips that had personification in them. (You can search "personification" in YouTube and pull up a ton of options.) Then we did some examples together. They were pretty comfortable with this, considering they are seventh graders. All of my students struggle with using figurative language in their writing and understanding what it means when they come across it in their reading.
So, I cut out some pictures from magazines. I circled an object or an animal in each picture. I had my kids partner up, and they had to write a sentence giving the object or animal a (human) emotion. "How would that object feel right now?" I also had them write a sentence giving their object or animal a voice. "What would your animal or object SAY right now?"

I thought they did a GREAT job with this, which was a good thing. I knew they wouldn't come back to my class until Friday.

My technology classes were on schedule since we only had testing in the morning. We have all of our special area classes in the afternoons. With one of my intermediate groups, I tried an activity called "Crazy Stories" from Christina Gill-Lindsay (TPT: Computer Teacher Solutions). The students typed a story starter at their own computer (I used "My computer teacher..."), then I set a timer for one minute. The students furiously typed. I used a fun bomb timer from It was a great visual AND sound for them to rotate after a minute. They kept rotating after a minute of typing, adding to the story at the current computer. They LOVED it! Click here to see this product! It's fun! If you don't have a class set of computers, you could easily have kids write on paper and rotate to each desk!

My middle school technology students wrote a "Wishes and Fears" poem this week. I use a poetry forms website called "Instant Poetry Forms". This website is GREAT for my kiddos who struggle with writing original pieces, heck, all writing in general. Anyway, this site gives a lot of poetry types where students can fill in blanks, but the poems are not generic-sounding when they finish. Some of their poems were so raw, so real, I wanted to cry!
I also borrowed a craft from Amy Lemons'  "We're All Poets -A Poetry Writing Unit". I used the band-aid with a heart on it. I explained to the kids that we all have fears (the band-aid symbolized our fears) and the heart symbolized our wishes that could overcome our fears (or at least heal some of our hurts and fears).

Most are really serious and emotional, but the first line on this last one made me laugh a little. "I'm afraid of Thomas the Tank Engine" - my two-year old son is obsessed with Thomas right now! LOL

Thanks to Jennifer Drake, I used her "Get Crackin' Editable Word Center" activity for my figurative language activities this week. Her PPT file is geared more toward lower-elementary kids for phonics activities, but I really wanted to use my hoard of plastic Easter eggs for some of my activities. So, I edited her file with examples of figurative language on the cards and put them in the eggs. The kids opened an egg, read the sentence, decided what type of figurative language was being shown, and wrote that answer on their (cute) egg form! Thanks, Jennifer!

Today, I needed to do some review of the figurative language we've learned so far. So we quickly went over similes, metaphors, idioms, hyperbole, and our most recent one covered - personification. I made up some quick little "centers" for some of these skills. Normally, we use Fridays for catch-up work and corrections, but since we had standardized testing this week, there wasn't anything to finish or correct. 
One of the "stations" I made up was a "Personification Station" with more magazine pictures and questions about the items circled in each picture. You can get the recording sheet here or click on the pictures to download them. 

Have a great weekend!


  1. Your blog design is too cute!
    Thanks for sharing your 5 this week.
    Sandra's Savvy Teaching Tips

  2. I love how you used the band-aid!! So creative!!