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When do you teach figures of speech...


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and what do you use?

 

I already looked through TWTM and I can't see anything listed anywhere, My DS is only 6 so I have no plan to do a formal introduction anytime soon.

 

Although I *know* the figures of speech I don't feel comfortable *only* folding it into discussion of our read alouds, etc., although I certainly will.

 

Are there any casual (ie not workbook) resources/books that you liked that introduced these topics? If so, what ages were your DC when you used them?

 

 

Thanks,

 

ETA: looking for ways to cover simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, etc

 

Not sure what these are considered: homonym, antonym, synonym

Edited by Jacbeaumont
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By five or six my son knew nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Only in rudimentary ways. Noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. Verb is something you can do. Adjectives describe things. That is by no means the end of it, but it started the conversation that words have categories. Formal grammar started by 7. It allowed him better access to foriegn language materials if he knew the basics. We just used Easy Grammar. Nothing fancy. He would use highlighters to find words in various places like magazines, newspapers, on packaged goods. This year (age 12) he is taking grammar for linguistics which goes into more detail.

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The What Your --- Grader Needs to Know series has a language arts section in each title that's called "Sayings and Phrases" with a very simple to understand explanation of the saying. Even the ones I THOUGHT I knew what it meant it had a better explanation than I could come up with.

 

Example of some sayings from the 1st grade book: hit the nail on the head, practice makes perfect, let the cat out of the bag, and more. Each grade has at least 10 sayings. These are books you can easily find at your library or on Amazon. Even the 1993 editions have the Sayings and Phrases section.

 

As far as when you should teach figures of speech, I think that would have to be decided upon the mental maturity of the child. Check out the Kindergarten and 1st grade books and see if they're over his head. You could cover a few of these every year. Most of the sayings are very common.

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For things like that we've done some fun extra units. This year we did idioms at the beginning of the year. I made a list of idioms, they had to define what they thought they went. Then we went over them to discuss the real meanings. Then we did all sorts of fun activities....idiom charades, a game at dinner where they had to pick an idiom and then rephrase it in literal terms without using the actual words and then we would guess which one it was. They did a few writing exercises with idioms. We had an idiom jar and they each picked five idioms and had to write a paragraph using their five. 

 

The book Figuratively Speaking goes over a lot of figures of speech and other literary terms. We are also slowly going through that.

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By five or six my son knew nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Only in rudimentary ways. Noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. Verb is something you can do. Adjectives describe things. That is by no means the end of it, but it started the conversation that words have categories. Formal grammar started by 7. It allowed him better access to foriegn language materials if he knew the basics. We just used Easy Grammar. Nothing fancy. He would use highlighters to find words in various places like magazines, newspapers, on packaged goods. This year (age 12) he is taking grammar for linguistics which goes into more detail.

Those are parts of speech. I'm looking for things like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, onomatopoeia, etc.

 

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Do you mean literary elements? If so, the book Figuratively Speaking is a great resource.

 

I was a little confused by your initial inquiry: to me, 'figures of speech' more narrowly means idioms. I have been teaching my kids idioms since they were toddlers. It just comes up naturally in our household, but then we all like to play around with language.

 

It might be helpful to clarify what you're talking about.

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I'm looking for things like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, onomatopoeia, etc.

 

I also call these 'the figures of speech', and my school covered it from 8th grade onwards. It was in our High School English Grammar and Composition text.

 

Now I see them being called the 'literary elements', although some teachers use the term 'literary elements' to refer to plot, setting, climax, denouement, etc.

 

If you want to cover the figures of speech in middle school, you can use the book a pp mentioned - Figuratively Speaking. Or you can wait until high school and use the book that the WTM recommends - Essential Literary Terms.

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Oh, you're talking about literary techniques and elements. FIAR does cover that in picture books for that age group. Other than that, I'd wait until the later elementary ages and use the books Figuratively Speaking and Teaching Literary Elements Using Picture Books (Scholastic).

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I made a list of what I wanted to cover at some point, like  you did with "simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, etc" and then looked for them as they came up in our read alouds. The Figuratively Speaking book is a good source for a list, if you want to feel like you've covered your bases.

I tried to do a mini unit on similes/metaphors, but I never could get into creative things like that. 

 

For us, the best possible approach was to talk about them in the context of the read alouds we were doing. I also read a fair amount of poetry aloud when my kids were younger. When they're young, they just love long, complicated terms like "onomatopoeia"! And they love being able to spot one when they hear it!  It's so much fun. You'll be surprised how many they can learn to spot & identify!

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Do you mean literary elements? If so, the book Figuratively Speaking is a great resource.

 

I was a little confused by your initial inquiry: to me, 'figures of speech' more narrowly means idioms. I have been teaching my kids idioms since they were toddlers. It just comes up naturally in our household, but then we all like to play around with language.

 

It might be helpful to clarify what you're talking about.

As another poster mentioned I've only ever heard literary elements refer to plot, setting, climax, themes. I guess the terminology has changed?

 

 

 

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We use Figuratively Speaking here, too, as another posted mentioned.  The cover says "For grades 5-8."  I'm using it now for my 6th grader.

 

Some of the terms have come up before in other language arts programs, but this book nicely covers them all in one book.

 

Each of the 40 lessons is about 3 pages long.  There is a definition of the term, examples of it (excerpts), some matching or fill in the blank activities, and then some sort of writing assignment where the student uses the term.  

 

It takes us 1-3 days per lesson, depending on how complicated the writing assignment is.  

Edited by Garga
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ETA: looking for ways to cover simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, etc

Not sure what these are considered: homonym, antonym, synonym

 

Alliteration, assonance, consonance, and onomatopoeia are "poetic devices" or "sound elements". Simile and metaphor are specific types of imagery. Both are discussed more formally when analyzing Literature -- both poetry and prose.

 

For literary devices/elements (plot, character, setting, theme, mood, conflict, irony, imagery, personification, allusion, hyperbole, etc.) most people wait until about gr. 6-7, closer to the time you'll start using them as part of a more formal Literature study and literary analysis (usually gr. 7-8). These terms are usually introduced and used as part of a Literature program. They are sometimes called "figurative language elements" or "figures of speech", although "figures of speech" is also used as a synonym for "idioms".

 

While I don't know if they are usually given the official "classification" name of "semantics", homonyms, antonyms, synonyms, and idioms are usually introduced as part of a Grammar program, often along about 3rd-4th grade.

Edited by Lori D.
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This is a good discussion and useful to me. I have a 9th grader that hasn't had some of these things in depth yet. She is doing WWS I, and today she had to decribe characters using metaphor. I want to say our R&S English has at some point discussed similes, metaphor, synonym, homonym, antonym. Alliteration and so forth have been discussed by me, but have not come up in any of our usual WTM recs yet either. For beginning high school english she is still in R&S 8 English and is using the WEM for literature, but that includes no lit guides, so I am going to have to look for the book someone mentioned above, Essential Literary Terms. I am off to look for it on Amazon right now! 

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And I put that in my cart, but decided to look through R&S 9/10 which I have on my shelf. I looked immediately at a section called poetic devices and it is a lesson on alliteration and onomatopoeia. So that is covered there. I am off to look over the rest of the index to see what else these cover. I bought them during a seconds sale, but haven't perused them yet. 

 

ETA... just found the lessons on hyperbole, simile, personification, etc. So I think we will stick w/R&S since we have it and it is eventually all there it looks like! 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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I started these with my DD in third grade using a school LA workbook. We did alliteration and similies and metaphors that year. This year in 4th grade we have discussed puns and spoonerisms. Onomatopoeia gets discussed as it comes up. Idioms we will do at another stage but probably through a novel that uses a large number of them. This is my child though who takes it all in just by having literature discussed. My younger child will need something more directly focused on it.

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I started these with my DD in third grade using a school LA workbook. We did alliteration and similies and metaphors that year. This year in 4th grade we have discussed puns and spoonerisms. Onomatopoeia gets discussed as it comes up. Idioms we will do at another stage but probably through a novel that uses a large number of them. This is my child though who takes it all in just by having literature discussed. My younger child will need something more directly focused on it.

Unless I'm remembering incorrectly isnt The Phantom Tollbooth a book with a lot of idioms?

 

 

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Alliteration, assonance, consonance, and onomatopoeia are "poetic devices" or "sound elements". Simile and metaphor are specific types of imagery. Both are discussed more formally when analyzing Literature -- both poetry and prose.

 

For literary devices/elements (plot, character, setting, theme, mood, conflict, irony, imagery, personification, allusion, hyperbole, etc.) most people wait until about gr. 6-7, closer to the time you'll start using them as part of a more formal Literature study and literary analysis (usually gr. 7-8). These terms are usually introduced and used as part of a Literature program. They are sometimes called "figurative language elements" or "figures of speech", although "figures of speech" is also used as a synonym for "idioms".

 

While I don't know if they are usually given the official "classification" name of "semantics", homonyms, antonyms, synonyms, and idioms are usually introduced as part of a Grammar program, often along about 3rd-4th grade.

 

So helpful! Thank you!

 

 

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I was going to suggestion finding something on Teachers pay teachers.  There is lots of fun stuff there.  Normally, I would just teach those skills with poetry and literature   I like the idea of the figuratively speaking book though, to make sure all the bases are covered. 

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