Figurative language can be a challenging concept in for upper elementary and middle school, especially when integrating into writing. Starting with a figurative language unit and bundled activities including vocabulary flipbooks and comprehension passages can help your students learn and practice these difficult concepts. It’s simple enough to memorize definitions and terms, but when it comes to applying knowledge, it can be hard to make connections. Couple this awesome unit with video! Video is one way to help your students visualize figurative language, and when they’re funny, they’ll really be memorable! Here are some humorous videos to introduce figurative language.
This may be an exaggeration, but hyperbole is the greatest type of figurative language in the world! Of course, that is a hyperbole (extreme exaggeration) in itself. Elementary and middle school students love the silly cheesiness in Flocabulary videos. One of our faves is “What is Hyperbole?” which boasts a cool beat and rhymes like, “Hyperbole, I know you heard of me!“ The video also talks about ways this figurative language type is used in real life and literature.
The word idiom is silly in itself. Phrases that don’t reflect their literal meaning are called idioms. For example, when it’s raining cats and dogs, there are not felines and canines pouring from the sky. Of course, it’s just raining very hard. Mr. Palindrome’s videos are super goofy, but even your middle-grade kids will laugh and find them memorable. Remember, a little silliness goes a long way to jogging memory in this age group. My. P’s idiom video is one of the funniest ones on his channel!
A metaphor is a type of figurative language comparing two things with some quality in common without using like or as. I giggled at Alden Phelp’s song where he argues with a metaphor that is constantly throwing metaphorical insults his way. Don’t worry! The song has a happy ending with a metaphor friendship. Your kids will laugh and want to create their own goofy metaphor songs.
Using cartoons or other movies to teach figurative language will make your students smile, laugh, and most of all remember the terms. Who better to teach the concept of similes (comparing two things with some quality in common using like or as) than Shrek? This silly clip has Shrek talking to Donkey comparing ogres to onions.
ALLITERATION & RHYME
Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words (alliteration) or repetition of sounds at the end of words (rhyme) are sound devices that my students love to use in poetry. The videos by Advocate of Wordz has a high pitched cartoon narrator that breaks things down in a cool and fun way that elementary and middle schoolers are sure to enjoy! Your students will even learn about the different types of rhyme. Awesome!
MAKE YOUR OWN VIDEOS!
My students love to see themselves on camera. Even the most timid kids enjoy performing in small groups. Teaching figurative languages with Readers Theater Scripts is fun for both teachers and students. Readers Theater gives a students a chance to perform and experience a drama unit while working with and learning with figurative language. These particular scripts include simile, metaphor, idioms, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, personification, alliteration, and hyperbole for a fantastic figurative language study! Grab a tablet or a smartphone to have your students create their own figurative language videos through their Readers Theater performances.
Let your students laugh and have fun learning about different types of figurative language to identify and use in prose and poetry. Videos are so helpful in engaging multiple senses. Your students will hear and see the concept. By having the explain verbally what they’ve learned and writing out (or typing) notes, they can also activate more ways to remember and retain information. Your students will love these humorous videos to introduce figurative language.
NEED SOME BOOKS TO TEACH FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE?
These are some of my favorites to use when I teach this skill.