Sunday, August 12, 2012

Love of Language: Figurative Lang and Context Clue Examples

This year, I have decided to create a Love of Language in my classroom--not just with read alouds, but strategically and routinely through weekly lessons.

To prepare for my Love of Language Fridays, I pay attention to my read alouds throughout the week. I am on the lookout for examples of figurative language and unknown/new words that might allow us to practice developing our context clue skills. I pull examples of sentences and paragraphs that students would benefit from revisiting and analyzing. While a word may not be "unknown" to everyone (or I may have given a quick synonym for during the actual read aloud), I can still revisit the word to expose students to how to think about figuring out unknown words. Also, I choose examples from my read alouds because I like for the examples to be familiar to students when we discuss the figurative language/poetic devices and practice using context clues to figure out the meaning.

Friday's reading minilesson focuses on those examples of figurative language and unknown words in context. (After teaching these lessons a few weeks now, I have found that we only have time for working with figurative language or context clue examples if I have a lot of examples to share. I'm sure if I would keep it to one example of each, we could do both in one lesson.) To prepare for Friday, I type up the examples in cute font and print them on large sized paper (11x17).

Here are my examples for my first Love of Language lesson.

The figurative language example comes from Bedhead by Margie Palatini and the context clue example comes from Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff. We used Bedhead as a writing mentor this week and we are reading Pictures of Hollis Woods for read aloud.
What do students do with these examples? Students have a Love of Language binder with 5 sections: 
Word of the Week (WOW)
 Nifty Thrifty Fifty (NFT)/Content Vocab 
Context Clues 
Figurative Language 

In the Figurative Language Section, students have a graphic organizer that looks like this: 
Through our discussion, students noted that in "spilled, spit, and sputtered" the author used alliteration. "Two-toast Toasties did triple back-flips onto the breakfast table" also contained alliteration but was an example of personification, too. Students recorded this example under the example column, then explained what the excerpt meant. Next, they drew a picture that represented the image.

In the context clues section, students complete a graphic organizer that looks like this:
Students record the example ("We lumbered up the main street of Hancock, passing a row of houses and a movie theater, and came to a stop in front of a diner."), we discuss the possible clues given--we decided that lumbered was a verb and that it must have described some sort of movement, maybe slowly or maybe they were walking up hill or maybe they were tired as they traveled through the town. Then, students record the meaning of the unknown word and the type of context clues we used to help us decide on the meaning. In this case, we decided that the placement of the word in the sentence let us know it was a verb/movement and the context helped us with the mood of the word.

Are you ready to start a love of language? Click here to read more or here to preview my teacherspayteachers love of language product.


  1. What a great way to teach poetry. =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. If you get the chance, I would love for you to hop over and visit me. I am having a HUGE give away. =)

    Heather's Heart

  2. Thanks Heather. I just became a follower of your blog. Love your ideas! :)



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