Lesson Plan:

Poetry: Figurative Language

4.5 based on 2 ratings
August 6, 2015
by Caitlin Fahey
Download lesson plan
August 6, 2015
by Caitlin Fahey

Learning Objectives

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


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Introduce Emily Dickinson and give a quick history of her as a poet.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (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).

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (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.

Independent Working Time (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.



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


Assessment (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.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Review the definitions of personification, simile, and metaphor.

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