3 Fun Activities for Teaching Figurative Language

Are you an upper elementary teacher who needs new ideas for teaching figurative language? Then you’re in the right spot! Keep reading for 3 fun poetry ideas that you can use in your classroom tomorrow!

1) Interactive Read Aloud

One of my favourite ways to have students practice identifying figurative language and interpreting its meaning is with interactive read-alouds.

Start by choosing a beautiful picture book. Have the students listen to you read it aloud, and pause to discuss the figurative language as you come to it. Ask questions like, “What do you think this metaphor means?” or “What emotion is the author trying to convey with this simile?”

Need a list of diverse picture books? Click HERE to read my list.

One of my all-time favourite stories for teaching figurative language is Swashby and the Sea. In fact, I have a FREE read-aloud to accompany this picture book. Click HERE to have it sent straight to your inbox!

free interactive read aloud for teaching figurative language

2) Digital Escape Room

My favourite way to review almost every topic is with a digital escape room. I love using them in math class, to review literary genres and even when teaching figurative language!

In this Figurative Language Digital Escape Room, students work in small teams to solve puzzles. They must identify similes, metaphors, hyperbole, personification and onomatopoeia in various song lyrics.

The best part of digital escape rooms is that there is NO MARKING for the teacher and the entire game takes less than 5 minutes to prep! Talk about a winning activity!

teaching figurative language digital escape room

3) Song Lyrics

Song lyrics are the perfect tool when teaching figurative language to upper elementary students because they are inherently more engaging that a traditional poem.

One way to incorporate song lyrics into your lesson is to use a song to launch your figurative language unit. “Firework” by Katy Perry is a great song for this because there is SO MUCH figurative language in the lyrics.

Another fun activity is to have students find songs that contain figurative language and analyze them. Ask them to write down the lyrics, explain the figurative language, and explain the emotions the words convey. Just be careful with the song “Watermelon Sugar”… don’t let your students choose that one!

teaching figurative language with song lyrics

So there you have it, three winning activities for teaching figurative language. Don’t forget to grab your FREE Interactive Read Aloud lesson!

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