Figurative language is an important concept for young writers to understand and use. It can help children immensely improve the quality of their story writing.
The purpose of figurative language is to create vivid imagery within a piece of writing by using non-literal language to describe things and convey meaning. Figurative language helps readers understand the meaning of something from a different perspective, and creates deeper understanding.
The most common types of figurative language are:
A simile is a literary device that is used in writing to make comparisons between two things, with the aim to express a certain meaning to the readers.
Similes use “like” or “as” to describe something.
Just like a simile, a metaphor is a figure of speech used in writing to make a direct comparison between two distinct things. Similarly, metaphors are also used to create non-literal meanings, as they often describe something as if it were something else.
Although similes and metaphors are similar because they both make comparisons between two things, they have one important difference. Similes make comparisons by comparing something to something else. Metaphors make comparisons by expressing that something is something else.
Similes and metaphors are tricky literary devices for young children to understand and master. Here’s a list of activities to try at home with your child writer to help them practice:
Personification is used in stories and poems to give human characteristics to objects or ideas. It’s used to describe something that is nonhuman in a human-like way.
Often, personification is useful because it’s unexpected, which makes a piece of writing more vivid in the reader’s mind.
Here are some examples of personification to further your child’s understanding of the concept:
Here are some ways your child can practice personification:
Onomatopoeias are words used in written stories to demonstrate sound effects. They are words that mean exactly what they sound like. Readers can get a better grasp of the sounds that happen within a story when onomatopoeias are used.
Here are some of the above onomatopoeias used in sentences:
Hyperbole is a figurative device that demonstrates intentional exaggeration. It’s used to emphasise a certain idea, time frame, or feeling, using exaggerated literal language. Hyperboles are used as emphasis, but their literal meaning is not meant to be taken seriously.
Alliteration is a rhetorical device that is used to create a melodic effect or inspire a certain emotion in readers. It consists of the repetition of the same letter (whether that’s a vowel or a consonant) at the start of a series of words.
An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite words appear together in a sentence.
Now that your child has learned everything they need to know about figurative language, here’s a free resource to help them practice:
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