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Lesson Plan

Figurative Language Awards Ceremony

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Figurative Language Awards Ceremony

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Instruction and Activities


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • acquire a clear understanding of the concept of the figurative language devices of simile, metaphor, and personification.

  • be able to recognize examples and demonstrate use of the three devices in their own writing.

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Instruction and Activities

  1. Provide the students with the list of selected books. Give them an opportunity to read several of the books. Point out that these books are all known for their figurative language. Tell the students that when they've finished reading, they will be having an "Academy Awards" of Figurative Language. The students will be compiling a list of examples of literary devices to nominate at the "awards ceremony."

  2. After independently exploring the books, the teacher could choose several of the books to read aloud to the class. This provides a chance for some direct teaching as well as class discussion.

  3. Divide the students into three equal groups. Assign the group to a literary device-simile, metaphor, personification. The groups should have access to books that illustrate their assigned literary device. Set a time limit (1-2 class periods) for the students to search the books for the best examples of their assigned piece of figurative language. By the end of the session, the students should have a list of their top 5 examples, which they can record on a Figurative Language Awards Bookmark.

  4. The day of the awards ceremony, the "host" will welcome the class to the festivities and ask for nominations for the category of "Favorite Simile." Students will volunteer their selections and the teacher will write them onto the chart paper or type them into a word processor, with the computer hooked to a projection device.

  5. After all nominations are in, the entire class will cast votes, and the "Best Use of Simile" trophy will be awarded. (This Trophy Form can be placed beside the winning example. Note that students can click on the upper and/or lower part of the trophy to type details such as the trophy name, the year/date it was awarded, who awarded it, and so forth.)

  6. The same procedure is then followed for "Best Use of Metaphor" and "Best Use of Personification."

Concluding Activity

Students are divided into their original groups and asked to compose an "Acceptance Speech" for the "Figurative Language Award." Tell them to use as many of their literary devices (simile, metaphor, personification) as they can in their speech. Speeches will be evaluated with regard to how many examples of figurative language they contain. One member from each group is asked to present the "speech" to the crowd.


"Winning the award for the best simile is like a dream come true. We are as happy as clams to accept this award. This award is as good as gold. Thank you!"

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  • The students could work with a Fine Arts teacher to perform some of the literary devices or to act out the awards ceremony.

  • Song lyrics can be used to teach literary devices. First, teach the term, and then use songs to identify the literary devices. Together, read the lyrics, listen to the song, and then locate the literary device. Here is a list of songs that can be used:

    • "The River" by Garth Brooks (Similes and Metaphors)

    • "Higher" by Creed (Alliteration and Assonance)

    • "Legend of Woolly Swamp" by Charlie Daniels (Personification and Onomatopoeia)

    • "Loving Arms" by Dixie Chicks (Imagery)

    • "Just the Two of Us" by Will Smith (Oxymoron and Hyperbole)

    • "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette (Irony)

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Kidwatching is a good technique to evaluate student engagement in the lesson. Look especially for:

  • preparation of a nomination for each award category

  • participation in class discussion

  • involvement in group “Speech” activity


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