fig lang

WHAT IS FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE?

  • Image result for interpreting figurative language

    Figurative Language in the Movies Lesson

    Figurative Language in Movies

    Figurative Language in Movies 2

    Figurative Language in Movies and Commercials

    Figurative Language Songs

    Figurative Disney

    Figurative Language in Popular Music

    Figurative Language in Popular Music 2

    Simile, Metaphor, Hyperbole, Personification, Onomatopoeia, and Idioms in Popular Songs

    Figurative Language in Pop Culture 2017

    Figurative Launguage in Pop Culture 2015

    Figurative Language Game Show!

    Introduction to Reading Skills: Figurative vs Literal Meaning VIDEO

    Introduction to Reading Skills: Figurative Language - Puns VIDEO

    Introduction to Reading Skills: Figurative Language - Antonyms VIDEO

    Introduction to Reading Skills: Figurative Language - Metaphors VIDEO

    Introduction to Reading Skills: Figurative Language (similes) VIDEO

    MAKE A FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE BOOKMARK

     Fig

    Sometimes, writers use words in such a way that their meaning is different from their usual meaning or Literal Meaning.  Figurative language helps us understand the way words are used in a creative way to describe characters, setting, and events.  These words help create images and moods for the reader.  Many words don’t always mean exactly what they say, but may be making a comparison to something, etc.  Metaphors,similes, and idioms are often used to add color to the story.   For example, someone who has told a secret might say, "I spilled the beans.”  This is an example of figurative language.  These words do not mean (literally) that the person actually spilled some beans.  These words mean (figuratively) “I didn’t mean to tell the secret.” 

    Many times you will find figurative language in the genre of poetry.  Here is where a writer chooses words so carefully and crafty to create images.  It is the writer’s way of “painting” pictures with words.  Because of the very nature of poetry’s conciseness in using few words, figurative language and the images it evokes can be very daunting to a child.  It is here that the child must use many deductive reasoning skills to figure out exactly what the writer (or poet) is trying to say.

    Many times you will find figurative language in the genre of poetry.  Here is where a writer chooses words so carefully and crafty to create images.  It is the writer’s way of “painting” pictures with words.  Because of the very nature of poetry’s conciseness in using few words, figurative language and the images it evokes can be very daunting to a child.  It is here that the child must use many deductive reasoning skills to figure out exactly what the writer (or poet) is trying to say.

    The skill of interpreting Figurative Language therefore is a difficult one.  Most children are not familiar with many of the expressions that our parents may have used.  And…unless we have continued to use them around the children, they are not aware of the many idioms and expressions of our language.  Many students may have heard the expression, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”  But, how many of them can truly explain the real meaning behind it.  (And, yes, it doesn’t really have anything to do with chickens.)

    Again, the writer uses these techniques to create images and comparisons.  You have to be good at being able to figure out what that comparison is supposed to mean in order to get the true image that the writer is trying to make.  A lot of outside reading will help to expose the child to these images and build background knowledge of idiomatic expressions.  Or, the child can be actively involved in the text to be able to figure it out based on the context of the passage or poem.

     

    Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language.

    Simile

    A simile uses the words “like” or “as” to compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike.
    Example: busy as a bee

    Metaphor

    The metaphor states a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison. A simile would say you are like something; a metaphor is more positive - it says you are something. 
    Example: You are what you eat.

    Personification

    A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given to an animal or an object.
    Example: My teddy bear gave me a hug.

    Alliteration

    The repetition of the same initial letter, sound, or group of sounds in a series of words. Alliteration includes tongue twisters.
    Example: She sells seashells by the seashore.

    Onomatopoeia

    The use of a word to describe or imitate a natural sound or the sound made by an object or an action.
    Example: snap crackle pop

    Hyperbole

    An exaggeration that is so dramatic that no one would believe the statement is true. Tall tales are hyperboles.
    Example: He was so hungry, he ate that whole cornfield for lunch, stalks and all.

    Idioms

    According to Webster's Dictionary, an idiom is defined as: peculiar to itself either grammatically (as no, it wasn't me) or in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements.
    Example: Monday week for "the Monday a week after next Monday"

    Clichés

    A cliché is an expression that has been used so often that it has become trite and sometimes boring.
    Example: Many hands make light work.

    Free Fun Games,

    INTERPRETING FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

    Similes, metaphors, and idioms are types of figurative language.  Authors use figurative language to help readers create pictures in their mind.  When you understand the meaning of a simile, a metaphor, or an idiom, you are interpreting figurative language.

          Look for things that are compared in a reading passage.  Try to find examples of similes or metaphors.

    Look for phrases whose words have a meaning different from their usual meaning.  Try to find examples of idioms.

    Figurative language usually brings a picture to a reader’s mind.  Use that picture to help you understand the meaning of the figurative language.

    Questions for Figurative Language:

    What does the author probably mean by this work?

    Which of those verbs are similar to the ones in the story?

    What is an example of slang or expressions?

    If the author used a phrase, he might be making a comparison to ______?

    Strategy for Figurative Language:

    • Reread the passage.
    • Read each sentence that has a vocabulary work.
    • Look for clues in the sentences that come before and after the one with the vocabulary word.

    The following are some examples and activities to practice using Similes, Metaphors, and Idioms.  Also included are several poems with good examples of these techniques using imagery.

    SIMILES

    SIMILES are FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE.  It is a writer’s way of using language in a creative way to make a comparison between two things that are not normally compared.  There is one characteristic that is the same between the two objects.  The writer uses his/her imagination to help paint a clear picture of what is being compared.  SIMILES use the words “LIKE” or “AS” when making the comparison.

    For example:          A.   My SWEATER feels as prickly as a CACTUS.

                    A sweater and a cactus are very different “things”.  This is a simile.

    The ROSE BUSH feels as prickly as a CACTUS.

    A rose bush and a cactus are too much alike.  They are both plants, and we know they are both prickly.  This is NOT a simile.

    Look at the examples below.  What are the two “things” being compared?

    What is the characteristic that makes them alike?

    1. The hole in the road was a big as the Grand Canyon.

    The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________. 

    The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

    2. The cake was as hard as a rock. 

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

    The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _______________

    3.His nose was as red as a cherry.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

    4. The moon looked like a big, yellow grapefruit.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

    5. Zachary can swim like a fish.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

    6. The package is as light as a feather.

    The two objects being compared are:________________  and ___________

    The characteristic being compared is:  _______________________________

    7. Her eyes are as blue as the sky.

    The two objects being compared are:  _________________  and __________

    The characteristic being compared is:  _______________________________

    8. The blanket is as soft as cotton.

    The two objects being compared are:  _________________  and __________

    The characteristic being compared is:  _______________________________

    9. I was as quiet as a mouse when I was in the library.

    The two objects being compared are:  __________________  and __________

    The characteristic being compared is:  ________________________________

    10. I was as hungry as a bear before lunch.

    The two objects being compared are:  ________________  and ___________

    The characteristic being compared is:  ________________________________

     Now here is an example of the use of “similes” in a famous poem from literature.

     An excerpt from the poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”

     He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot

    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

    A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

    And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

     His eyes—how they twinkled; his dimples how merry!

    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

    And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

    He had a broad face and a little round belly

    That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

     How many similes can you find in this poem?  Circle them.

    Select one of the similes and explain the comparison.

    Flint

    An emerald is as green as grass,
    A ruby red as blood;
    A sapphire shines as blue as heaven;
    A flint lies in the mud.

    A diamond is a brilliant stone,
    To catch the world's desire;
    An opal holds a fiery spark;
    But a flint holds a fire.

    Christina Rossetti 
    1830-1894

     What is “grass” being compared to?    __________________________

    1. What is “blood” being compared to?  ___________________________
    2. What is “heaven” being compared to?  __________________________
    3. Are these similes or metaphors?  How do you know?  _______________

         _______________________________________________________

    1. What other “gems” are mentioned in this poem?  __________________

     DREAMS

    Hold fast to dreams

    For if dreams die

    Life is a broken-winged bird

    That cannot fly.

     Hold fast to dreams

    For when dreams go

    Life is a barren field

    Frozen with snow.

    by Langston Hughes

    What kind of “dreams” is the poet writing about?

    Do you have any “dreams”?  What are they? 

     In the poem, “Dreams”, “Life” is being compared to what two things?

     SIMILES PRACTICE

    Directions:  Read the story.  Fill in each blank with a word from the list below to make some similes.     

    THE MAD LITTLE MAN

         Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess.  Her hair was as black as ________________________, her eyes were as blue as the ______________, and her skin was as soft as a ___________________.

         One day she went for a walk in the woods.  She stepped along the path as quietly as a _______________.  She picked some wild berries that tasted as sweet as ____________________.

         All at once she heard a voice that sounded as wicked as a _____________.  She hid behind a berry bush.  She peeked out and saw a little old man who was as ugly as a __________________.  He was stomping his feet and looked as mad as a ______________.

         The princess felt sorry for him and wanted to help.  She stepped from behind the bush and said, “Hello.  May I help you?”  The little man answered, “I need to move this rock.  It is as heavy as an ______________.  It fell and smashed my hat as flat as a ____________________. 

         The princess picked up the rock as if it were as light as a ___________________.  The little man grabbed his hat, said thank you, and ran straight as an __________________ into the woods.

     toad                      plane                    sugar                    lead            mouse                   elephant               tiger                      arrow

    witch                    night                      hornet                  rose                  petal            wink                    pancake                sky                       feather

     

    METAPHORS

    Metaphors compare two very different “things” in some way, just like a simile.  A metaphor DOES NOT use the words “like” or “as”.  They use the words “is”, “am”, “are”, “was”, or “were” to make a statement.

     For example: 

    The sunlight was like a shower of gold on the garden.  (This is a simile.)

    The sunlight “was” a shower of gold on the garden.  (This is a metaphor)

     What two things are being compared in the following Metaphors?

    What is the characteristic being compared?

    The traffic was a long snake of headlights.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

     The sleeping cat is a pillow of white fur.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

     The stars are a blanket of diamonds above us.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

     The flower garden was a rainbow in the park.

     The two objects being compared are: _____________  and ______________.

     The characteristic that makes them alike is:  _________________

     The snow is a white blanket over the city.

    The two things being compared are ______________  and _______________

    The characteristic that is the same is they are both _______________________

     Getting lost in the woods was a nightmare.

    The two things being compared are ______________  and _______________

    The characteristic that is the same is they are both _______________________

     Billy was a lobster after his sunburn.

    The two things being compared are _____________  and ________________.

    The characteristic that is the same is they are both ________________________

     Our house was a freezer when the air conditioner was on high.

    The two things being compared are ____________  and __________________

    The characteristic that is the same is they are both _______________________

     My brother’s room is a pig sty.

    The two things being compared are ____________  and __________________

    The characteristic that is the same is they are both _______________________

     Sue is a walking encyclopedia.

    The two things being compared are____________  and ________________

    The characteristic that is the same is they are both ______________________

     Now look at a poem that uses a metaphor for fog.

     FOG

     by Carl Sandburg

    The fog comes

    On little cat feet.

     It sits looking over harbor and city

    On silent haunches

    And then, moves on.

     What is the fog being compared to? 

    1. Why is the fog compared to “cat feet”?
    2. It comes softly, without a sound.
    3. It is small in size.
    4. It looks like a cat.
    5. Why are the “haunches” called “silent”?
    6. Fog is too far away to be heard.
    7. Fog does not make a sound.
    8. Fog’s sounds are like a cat


    IDIOMS

    Idioms are another use of figurative language.  They are expressions that have special meanings that are different from the exact (literal) meaning of the words in the expression. 

    For example:  The idiom “fly off the handle” means to lose one’s temper.

    The idiom “egg on your face” means embarrassed.

     Here are some other familiar idioms.  How many can you match up to their special meaning?

    1.   in a pickle _____ 
    2.   stick one’s foot in one’s mouth _____
    3.   make heads or tails of it _____     
    4.   raining cats and dogs _____          
    5.   caught red-handed _____          
    6.   bury the hatchet _____
    7.   cut the apron strings _____
    8.   rack one’s brain
    9.   put one’s nose to the grindstone _____
    10.   a piece of cake _____
    11.   throw in the towel _____
    12.   let the cat out of the bag _____
    13.   hit the sack _____
    14.   go to bat for _____ 
    15.   on the house _____ 
    1. work hard
    2. quit or give up
    3. in trouble
    4. gain independence
    5. go to bed
    6. free without cost
    7. say something inappropriate
    8. pouring
    9. defend
    10. forgive someone
    11. think deeply
    12. understand something
    13. something easy
    14. told a secret
    15. guilty

    Here are some other familiar idioms to know:

    two heads are better than one                    

    a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush

    took the bull by the horns                          

    elbow grease

    burying your head in the sand                   

    burning the candle at both ends

    opened a can of worms                             

    haste makes waste

    upset the apple cart                                    

    horse of a different color

    feather in one’s cap                                    

    chip on one’s shoulder

    knuckle under                                             

    look a gift horse in the mouth

    spill the beans                                             

    cut off your nose to spite your face

    break the ice                                               

    the apple of his eye

    play it by ear                                             

    take the cake

    barking up the wrong tree                            

    in the bad

    on pins and needles                                    

    on cloud nine

    skin of her teeth                                          

    butterflies in her stomach