In addition to focusing on the six comprehension strategies, the students are briefly introduced to figurative language using texts that utilize one type of figurative language at a time. Thus the students master an author’s use of figurative language in isolation; that is, students are able to identify that a simile is being used to compare two things, but not how it is used to give the reader a better description of what is being compared such as a character description, a character’s feelings, or detail to describe the setting. Therefore, introducing texts like
by E. B. White that incorporate more than one type of figurative language at a time would be a better indicator for assessing the student’s ability to identify figurative language and what it is conveying to the reader.
Figurative language is a vehicle that writers use to create a powerful image through description. Often in any type of text read, the author utilizes figurative language to compare and/or contrast to allow the readers to visualize an idea or concept, and to convey character emotions. My students have reached an age where they are reading chapter books that do not have illustrations to convey the author’s images. I watch them read and they seem very engrossed in the text they are reading. When I ask them about the book, they usually tell me the gist of the story and then they repeat a piece from the text that really stuck in their minds, “In the book it says that her brother annoyed her like a bee buzzing in her ear.” The piece they usually repeat consists of some type of figurative language the author used in the text. I feel that teaching the techniques of figurative language will allow my students not only to identify the type of figurative language used in the text but also to understand how it is used and to therefore incorporate the use of figurative language into their own writing. Elementary student writers can depend on figurative language as a writing technique to make their writing more interesting and descriptive for their intended audience (the reader). Often times I utilize lower grade children’s books to demonstrate to my students how easy, fun, and appealing it is not only to listen to an author using figurative language in their writing during a read aloud but also to incorporate it into their own writing style whether it be a writing assignment given by the teacher or their own personal writing. As my students begin to notice figurative language being used in the books they read and the books read in class, the students will utilize these same techniques, which will allow their writing to become more focused, expressive, and alive!
After carefully considering and examining the texts used by the New Haven School District Language Arts Curriculum, I decided that I could incorporate new texts into the existing texts that encompass more use of figurative language as a whole to develop character emotions and convey detail to create visual powerful images in the reader’s mind.
The main text that is going to be used in this unit, E.B. White’s
will be read prior to the beginning of the unit.
has recently been voted the favorite children’s book by educators as reported by the monthly student newsletter
Time for Kids
. This text has been a staple in the classroom since its publication. Along with
by E.B.White, the students will also be introduced to various poems and short stories.