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Figurative language is when you use a word or phrase that does not have its normal everyday, literal meaning. Writers can use figurative language to make their work more interesting or more dramatic than literal language which simply states facts.
There are a few different ways to use figurative language, including metaphors, similes, personification and hyperbole. See the table below for some figurative language examples and definitions.
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The repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables
The wild and woolly walrus waits and wonders when we’ll walk by
A resemblance of sound in words or syllables
holy & stony
Fleet feet sweep by sleeping geese
A word or phrase that has become overly familiar or commonplace
No pain, no gain
Big exaggeration, usually with humor
mile-high ice-cream cones
The language peculiar to a group of people
She sings at the top of her lungs
Comparing two things by using one kind of object or using in place of another to suggest the likeness between them
Her hair was silk
Naming a thing or an action by imitating the sound associated with it
buzz, hiss, roar, woof
Giving something human qualities
The stuffed bear smiled as the little boy hugged him close
A figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as
The sun is like a yellow ball of fire in the sky
Figurative Language Worksheets
This bundle contains 15 ready-to-use figurative language worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about and identify the seven common types of figurative language: simile, metaphor, idioms, personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration and hyperbole.
Students will also learn about homographs, homophones, antonyms, synonyms, adages and proverbs. Each type of figurative language includes wall chart worksheets with a definition and examples that can be printed out. Also included are activities and quizzes for students to practice their figurative language knowledge with.
Included figurative language worksheets:
“I Can” Statements
These statements can be used in the classroom to encourage learning. After completing these worksheets, students should understand and have mastered these ‘I Can’ statements.
Vocabulary Word Wall Posters
This section includes 14 figurative language wall posters – one for each type of figurative language – that you can print and put on the classroom walls for revision.
Foldable Vocabulary Worksheets
Students will fold these worksheets and fill in the definitions for each of the types of figurative language and stick into their workbooks.
Figurative Language Vocabulary Quiz
A series of 12 fill-in-the-blank questions for students to test their knowledge and understanding of the 12 types of figurative language. Includes answer sheet.
Figurative Language Sort
A fun figurative language game to play in the classroom. Students will cut the task cards and headings and sort each figurative language example with the correct heading(s).
Figurative Language Rewrites
This writing activity will give the students two example texts. The student must read the example text and rewrite the underlined phrases to a form of figurative language.
Draw the Idiom
This activity includes for specific idiom examples. The student must draw a picture for each of them to match up the well known phrase.
Match the Synonyms
Draw a Line to match each word on the left to its synonym on the right! Then pick three synonym pairs and draw a picture to show the meaning of each pair!
In this activity, for each sentence, students will write an antonym for the underlined word write it below the sentence in the space provided.
A is for Adage, P is for Proverb
Students will be given a series of six common proverbs and, the space provided below, explain the meaning of the proverb in their own words.
Heed the Homophone
Students will identify the correct homophone to complete each of the sentences listed. Then they will write their own examples of sentences with homophone words.
Hooked on Homographs
Using context clues, the student will work through the example sentences and circle the correct meaning of the homograph underlined.
Simile & Metaphors in Pictures
This worksheet includes four pictures. The student will write a sentence that includes either a simile or metaphor and describes something in the picture.
Figurative Language Quizzes 1 & 2
To finish out the figurative language worksheets, students will work through two quizzes to test everything they have learned about figurative language.
After completing these worksheets students will be able to:
- Interpret figurative language using similes & metaphors
- Define and identify similes and metaphor’s within a text
- Recognize when an author is using idioms, adages, and proverbs and determine his/her intended meaning
- Explain the difference between synonyms and antonyms
- Use knowledge of synonyms and antonyms to demonstrate understanding of words
- Define and identify homographs and homophones
- Correctly use synonyms, antonyms, homographs, homophones in writing and reading
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.