This week, I decided to focus on figurative language, which is perfect because I have been working on this with my own son (autistic) at home. He struggles sometimes to understand figurative language because it “doesn’t make sense.” I know this is a problem for many students in the classroom as well! English Language Learners and students with various learning disabilities are often confused by similes, metaphors, idioms, etc. It can limit their understanding of their reading. Here are a few books that I have found to be helpful:
1. Hairs by Sandra Cisneros–This book is written in both English and Spanish. It focuses on the differences in hair styles among one family. The descriptions are so vivid and filled with descriptions! “My papa’s hair is like a broom…” and “my mother’s hair…..is the warm sweet smell of bread….” are my favorites!
2. Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story–This is a wonderful introduction to similes! There is not only a description of what a simile is, but there are plenty of examples. My kids always like this book because each page ends in an ellipse, leaving the kids to try to guess how the simile will end. The author of this book has her own TPT page and has a FREE Powerpoint you can use along with this book! You can find it here.
3. Something Big Has Been Here (really, any book of poems!)–Poems are a great way to teach and practice figurative language. Not only are they short reads, most poems are chock full of a variety of figurative language so they naturally lend themselves to this topic! In Jack Prelutsky’s Something Big Has Been Here, a few of my favorite poems are: There’s No One as Slow as Slomona (simile), I Know All the Sounds that the Animals Make (onomatopoeia), I Am Wunk (alliteration), and They Never Send Sam to the store Anymore (simile AND hyperbole).
So, how do YOU teach figurative language? I would love to hear your great ideas!
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