Lesson plan

Poetry: Figurative Language

This literary lesson has students delving into Emily Dickinson's "The Moon was but a Chin of Gold" to find different types of figurative language. Writers will love sharpening reading comprehension skills with this poetry analysis activity.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Personification Practice pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Personification Practice pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify some of the different types of figurative language in poetry.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce Emily Dickinson and give a quick history of her as a poet.
(10 minutes)
  • Review some different types of figurative language.
  • Point out that there are three important types to think about for the poem you're about to read: personification (speaking of something non-human as though it were human), simile (comparing something to something else using "like" or "as"), and metaphor (comparing something to something else by saying it is that thing).
(20 minutes)
  • Display "The Moon Was But a Chin of Gold" using the document camera and projector. Distribute copies of it to the class.
  • Read the poem aloud.
  • Each time you come across figurative language, underline it and ask students to identify what type of figurative language it is.
  • Students should underline it on their sheet as well.
(10 minutes)
  • After finding all the instances of figurative language, read the poem again without stopping.
  • Ask students, "Is the poem really about a moon, or can it represent something else in life?"
  • Have them answer the two questions on the second page of the worksheet.


  • Pull struggling students aside during Independent Working Time to review the different types of figurative language.


  • Advanced students can be challenged to write another stanza for the poem. If all students are advanced, you can allow them to find the figurative language in the poem independently.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share their answers to the questions on the second page.
  • Assess students based on how well they understood the poem's content.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the definitions of personification, simile, and metaphor.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items