5 Figurative Language Activities for the Library

Figurative language can be one of the hardest concepts for students (especially the younger grades) to understand. In order to understand and use figurative language, students have to be able to move past the concrete. Which is why it’s super important that students are exposed to it often. These figurative language activities will help you make figurative language accessible to young students and make bringing figurative language into your library a piece of cake.

I want to share a bit about why figurative language is important, plus how you can incorporate these simple Figurative Language Worksheets and Posters into your library.

What is figurative language?

Figurative language is using ordinary sentences in a way that differs from the original meaning. Oftentimes what is said is not really what is meant, which is why it can throw students for a loop.

For example, you might say, “I said that a million times”. You mean that you said it a lot, but when taken literally, someone might wonder how you still have your voice (or sanity) intact! When students read these phrases, their concrete thinking is often used, and it can lead to a lot of confusion.

Why is figurative language important?

Figurative language gives depth to our reading and writing! Without figurative language, our stories might sound a little dull, or what we are trying to express might be unclear. Figurative language adds a layer of complexity, imagery, and vividness to writing that takes things to the next level.

It’s important that students understand figurative language because it’s essential to their comprehension. They also need to be able to write with figurative language in order to create more vivid and advanced pieces of writing.

How to bring figurative language into the library?

As we have talked about, students need lots of practice with figurative language. By incorporating figurative language activities into the library, we can reinforce and support what students are learning in the classroom. Plus, we can make connections between what students are reading and figurative language.

There are several different ways that we can bring figurative language activities into the library to help our students better understand what they are reading.

1. Read Alouds

When reading stories around in the library, you probably discuss characters, the main idea, the theme, and more. Why not add figurative language activities? You can do this by asking students about a particular piece of figurative language and what it means, or you can give them mentor sentences from the reading to dissect.

2. Independent Work

Give students time in the library to practice with figurative language activities. This can be as simple as figurative language worksheets or task cards. These activities make for quick and easy stations while you work with students in groups.

3. Writing Activities

Using figurative language in writing can be a challenge, but it’s a really important skill! You can start by providing sentence frames or mentor sentences for students to mimic. Then have them describe an image or topic with figurative language.

4. Independent Reading

Reading various stories that use figurative language will give students the exposure needed to better understand and use figurative language. Have students note when they see an example of figurative language and what it means.

5. A Ready-to-Go Resource (or 2)

If you’re looking for a simple and easy figurative language activity to implement in the library, try the Figurative Language Worksheets and Posters! This resource includes twenty-seven worksheets to review the seven different types of figurative language.

To scaffold this figurative language activity, each type of figurative language has two parts. In the first part, students are given the definition with an example to help them understand the figurative language and use as a reference. Then, the students have figurative language activities to complete to test their new skills!

The resource also includes posters to hang in the library, so students can easily reference the different types of figurative language.

You can use this resource in small groups, teacher groups, centers, and more. Each of the figurative language activities are different, so students won’t get bored of doing the same activity.

If you need a digital resource, the Figurative Language Activities for Google Slides is for you. This has almost identical content, just in a digital and interactive form. You will also receive a set of posters as well.

By bringing figurative language activities into the library, we can better support our students’ reading comprehension and writing skills. The more we expose students to figurative language, the easier it will become for them!

And be sure to check out all of my figurative langugae resources (just search figurative language on the shop page). If you want the most bang for your buck then the figurative language bundle is what you need. There is a print and a digital bundle.

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