Figurative Language When you’re reading a poem or story, what are some things an author does that helps you visualize what is happening? When an author compares two things that may not be related, what is that called? Why is it important to see what the author is writing about? Figurative Language Teaching Point: Today I want to teach you that many times poets use figurative language in their poems. That means that the words we read in poems may have a different or deeper meaning than what we expect. What the author says or what we expect is called literal meaning. But we can infer the figurative meaning, which is what the author means. Authors use similes and metaphors (figurative language) as a way to express meaning. Knowing how to find the meaning of the author’s words helps us become better readers because it allows us to visualize what the author is saying and helps us understand the text better. Figurative Language Simile: A simile is a figure of speech in which two different things are compared by using the words “like” or “as.” Metaphor: A metaphor is a phrase that describes something by comparing it to some other thing from wordsmyth.com Figurative Language Authors use similes and metaphors to evoke strong meaning and strong feelings in a reader. Authors use similes and metaphors to create a picture in a readers mind. Poetry Chart Poetry Words Literal Meaning Figurative Meaning Why the author chose these words Examples in Poetry Willow and Ginkgo By Eve Merriam The willow is like an etching, Fine-lined against the sky. Poetry Chart Poetry Words Literal Meaning The willow is A willow tree is a like an etching drawing Figurative Meaning Why the author chose those words A willow tree looks like an elegant and delicate drawing The author is helping me understand the way a willow tree looks. •An etching is a fine, delicate drawing •So the tree must look delicate Examples The Boy The boy is a bomb. He is waiting to explode. The bomb is full of anger. He has a short fuse. He may go off at any time. Poetry Chart Poetry Words Literal Meaning Figurative Meaning Why the author chose those words The willow is A willow tree is a like an etching drawing A willow tree looks like an elegant and delicate drawing The author is helping me understand the way a willow tree looks. •An etching is a fine, delicate drawing •So the tree must look delicate The boy is a bomb The boy is so full of anger he is going to explode like a bomb would The author is helping me understand how angry the boy is. •A bomb is destructive and causes a lot of damage •So the boy must be very angry The boy is a bomb Independent Work Locate at least 3 instances of figurative language (similes or metaphors) within the different poems. (You can use all the poems or just a few) Write the similes and metaphors in your chart and describe the literal and figurative meanings and why the author chose those words.