Life is like a box of chocolates.
He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
I am so tired I can sleep for a week.
As the sun came up, a ball of red,
I followed my friend wherever he led.
Is the sun literally a ball of red? Can anyone really sleep for a week? Are we supposed to take these lines literally? Not at all. And yet, the lines make some kind of sense, don’t they? They make sense on a figurative level.
Figures of speech are used in both prose and poetry to communicate a thought or feeling more sharply, more intensely, more concretely. In today’s lesson, we will find out more about figures of speech. There are different types, you see, and we need know them in order that we can use them properly.
The lesson is in the form of a treasure hunt. You will look for (“hunt”) the answers (“treasures”) in the websites that are listed below (simply click on the website URL). Read the questions and websites carefully. Sometimes the questions require that you apply what you read from a website instead of just repeating it.
You will work in groups
of three or four. Assign one member of your group to record your answers but
all should be ready to join the class discussion afterwards. There’s a Big Question
at the end of this activity. Your group will be given a week to answer the Big
can we differentiate a simile from a metaphor?
2. What is repeated in alliteration? Finish this sentence with alliterative words:
3. Is rhyme assonance? Which of the following phrases illustrates assonance:
4. What kind of figure of speech is illustrated in this proverb:
Wisdom calls aloud in the street,
she raises her voice in the public squares;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out,
in the gateways of the city she makes her speech.
5. What is used in hyperbole to achieve effect?
6. How does onomatopoeia work? Give your own example of a word that is onomatopoeic (not an example from the website).
7. Pick one example of an oxymoron from the list given and briefly explain what it means. Then use it in a sentence.
kind of figure of speech is exemplified by the statement, “He who lives by the
sword, dies by the sword”?
Overview of figures of speech
Specific types of figures of speech
The Big Question
Make a scrapbook of nursery rhymes or poems for children that make use of the various figures of speech. There should be at least three poems in your scrapbook. It would be nice if you could make drawings or illustrations for your poems, or draw designs on the pages of your scrapbook. Write out each poem neatly on a page. On the adjacent page, list down the figures of speech that can be found in the poem—that is, name the figure of speech and then write down the specific verse or line that illustrates it.
Work with the same group who helped you answer the treasure hunt questions. Submit your scrapbook a week from today.
Authored by K. Lasola and P. Arinto