Poetry and Figurative Language - SIOP

POEtry and
figurative language
Poems paint pictures
In our minds
Main Idea
• When you first read a poem, you may not understand every word. Don’t
worry! After you read it the first time, just ask yourself, “What is this
mainly about?” That will help you understand the poem when you reread.
• What is this poem mainly about?
I cannot find my basketball.
I cannot find my locker.
I cannot find my homework,
Which is really quite a shocker.
I cannot find my lunchbox.
Worse, I cannot find my class.
I’m going to have a rotten day
Until I find my glasses.
-Bruce Lansky
Rhyming words have the same end sound.
• Quick! Find some rhyming words!
I Should Have Studied
I didn’t study for the test
And now I’m feeling blue.
I copied off your paper
And I flunked it just like you.
-Bruce Lansky
Fill in the blanks with words that rhyme.
Blue ___________________ ___________________ ________________
Bear ___________________ ___________________ ________________
Could ___________________ ___________________ ________________
Many poems repeat words, lines, or whole stanzas.
• Can you underline the repetition in this poem?
Boa Constrictor
Oh, I’m being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it ----one bit.
Well, what do you know?
It’s nibbling my toe.
Oh, gee,
It’s up to my knee.
Oh, my,
It’s up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It’s up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It’s up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
It’s upmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmffffff…
-Shel Silverstein
A simile compares things by saying one thing is like or as another thing.
• Hunt for similes in this poem.
The Star
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
-Ann and Jane Taylor
Try more similes!
The ball is as red as ______________________.
This bed is as soft as _____________________.
My friend runs like _______________________.
A metaphor compares things by saying one thing really is another.
• Read the poem and answer questions below.
White sheep, white sheep
On a blue hill.
When the wind stops
You all stand still.
The “white sheep” are really
What is the “blue hill?”
When the wind blows
You walk away slow.
White sheep, white sheep
Where do you go?
a)trees. b) kites. c)clouds. d) sheep.
a) the sky
b) a meadow
c) a flower
d) a mountain
3. When the poet says, “You walk away slow,” she means that a) the sun is crossing the sky.
b) the sheep are looking for grass. C) clouds are moving across the sky. D) flowers are blowing in the wind.
Words that have the same beginning sound show alliteration.
• Be an “Alliteration Detective! Circle the beginning sounds that are the
SAME on each line of this silly poem.
Don’t Bring Camels in the Classroom
Don’t bring camels in the classroom.
Don’t bring scorpions to school.
Don’t bring rhinos, rats or reindeer.
Don’t bring mice or moose or mule.
Lose your leopard and your lemur.
Leave your llama and your leech.
Take your tiger, toad and toucan
Anywhere but where they teach.
- Kenn Nesbitt
Onomatopoeia means words that sound like what the word represents.
• Can you make the sound of …
A bell? ________ A cat? _______ A jet? ______
A potato chip? ________ A firecracker? _______
Underline the onomatopoeia in this poem.
What if….
You opened a book about dinosaurs and one stumbled out
And another and another and more and more pour
Until the whole place is bumbling and rumbling
And groaning and moaning
And snoring and roaring
And dinosauring?
-Isabel Joshlin Glaser
Personification means making animals and objects act like people.
Find and circle 5 examples of personification in this poem.
Mister Sun
Mister Sun
Wakes up at dawn,
Puts his golden
Slippers on,
Climbs the summer
Sky at noon,
Trading places
With the moon.
Mister Sun
Runs away
With the blue tag
End of day,
Switching off the
Globe lamplight,
Pulling down the
Shades at night.
-J. Patrick Lewis
Hyperbole is exaggeration, meaning stretching the truth.
• Shel Silverstein loves to exaggerate in his poems. Hunt for hyperbole in
this funny poem.
Spaghetti, spaghetti, all over the place,
Up to my elbows – up to my face,
Over the carpet and under the chairs,
Into the hammock and wound round the stairs,
Filling the bathtub and covering the desk,
Making the sofa a mad mushy mess.
And remember…
When reading a poem for the first time
Don’t worry.
Hunt for figurative language
Don’t hurry.
Find rhyme, repetition, metaphor, simile,
Alliteration, onomatopoeia, personification, hyperbole
And you will answer all questions

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