EL Support Lesson

Poetic Personification

Use this lesson to help your ELs understand personification in poetry. This lesson can be taught on its own or used as support to the Poetry Themes lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Poetry Themes lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Poetry Themes lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify the theme of a poem using text evidence.


Students will be able to explain personification with nouns and verbs using sketches and color-coding.

(5 minutes)
  • Write the word "personification" on the board and ask students to guess the meaning of the word. Circle the word person and define personification.
  • Tell students they’ll watch the video "Personification" (see related media) to see objects come alive with human qualities. Distribute index cards and ask them to write or draw anything they notice from the video.
  • Watch the video. Allow students to share their index card notes in partners.
  • Tell students today they'll learn about personification in poetry.
(6 minutes)
  • Read aloud the poem "The Clouds Teased" from the Understanding Personification worksheet. Then have students choral read it with you.
  • Ask students to tell their elbow partner the topic of the poem and make guesses about the general idea of the poem. Allow students to share their ideas aloud while you write their ideas on the board.
  • Point out the personification in the title if students have not mentioned it already.
  • Ask students to sketch a picture next to each of the stanzas based on the topic they read in each stanza.
(6 minutes)
  • Have students look at the Understanding Personification worksheet again and have them tell you some unfamiliar words (e.g., "pleasantry," "dew").
  • Distribute the Vocabulary Cards and Glossary and define the unfamiliar words. Choose students who know the meanings to share their own definition with the class. Allow them to sketch the definition on their Vocabuary Cards.
  • Have students break into partners and create sentences aloud using the new words. Tell students to write additional information or sentences using the new words in the fourth column of their Glossary.
(12 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that authors use personification to bring objects alive and make them more vivid by giving them human-like qualities. Write the following sentences on the board and read them aloud:
    • "The flowers danced in the wind."
    • "The little dog laughed to see such fun."
    • "The dish ran away."
  • Define verbs and nouns. Circle the nouns and verbs in the sentences on the board in two different colors. Label each of the nouns and verbs in the sentences.
  • Draw a T-chart on the board and list the following words next to the chart: "raged," "cage," "played," "made," "bars," "bird." Have students work with you to sort the verbs and nouns into the T-chart.
  • Model using the words in the T-chart to create a sentence with personification (e.g., "The cage raged at the dog."). Tell students to separate into partners and have them say a sentence using any verb and noun combination of their choice. Have one student share one example sentence aloud.
  • Allow students to work in pairs to highlight the personified nouns and their respective verbs in the Understanding Personification worksheet. Explain that they must place the words in the T-chart. Give them the option to sketch a picture about the two words or to write a new sentence with the words.


  • Provide pictures of unknown terms. Allow students to practice using new words in a sentence in their home language (L1) or new language (L2). Provide meanings of the word in their L1 as well as L2.
  • Pair them with sympathetic partners that will support ELs by reading the text first. Allow ELs to give their answers in their L1 before transitioning to their L2.


  • Allow students to read, sketch, and analyze another poem, such as "Two Sunflowers Move in the Yellow Room" (see related media).
  • Challenge students to explain their ideas and the meaning of the personification to the class to assist struggling learners.
(6 minutes)
  • Refer as a class to the notes on the board about "The Clouds Teased" poem. Have them affirm or modify some of the ideas based on their current understanding of the poem.
  • Ask students to reread "The Clouds Teased" poem and answer the comprehension questions. Provide the following sentence stem if necessary: "The author is showing ____."
  • Allow partners to read their answers to each other and modify them based on the feedback.
(5 minutes)
  • Challenge students to think about the title of the poem "The Clouds Teased." Ask them to talk to a partner about how they think the cloud was teasing the people in the poem (e.g., "The clouds cleared out of the sky but came running back to rain on their fun.").
  • Ask a student to share with the class why poets use personification in their poems.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items