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Go Figure!. Figurative Language Grades 6 Ms. De Los Rios. Recognizing Figurative Language. The opposite of literal language is figurative language. Figurative language is language that means more than what it says on the surface. It usually gives us a feeling about its subject.

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Go figure

Go Figure!

Figurative Language

Grades 6

Ms. De Los Rios

Recognizing figurative language

Recognizing Figurative Language

The opposite of literal language is figurative language. Figurative language is language that means more than what it says on the surface.

  • It usually gives us a feeling about its subject.

  • Poets use figurative language almost as frequently as literal language. When you read poetry, you must be conscious of the difference. Otherwise, a poem may make no sense at all.

Printed Quiz

Online Quiz

Recognizing literal language

Recognizing Literal Language

“I’ve eaten so much I feel as if I could literally burst!”

  • In this case, the person is not using the word literally in its true meaning. Literal means "exact" or "not exaggerated." By pretending that the statement is not exaggerated, the person stresses how much he has eaten.

    Literal language is language that means exactly what is said.

    Most of the time, we use

    literal language.

What is figurative language

What is figurative language?

  • Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language.

Types of figurative language

Types of Figurative Language

  • Imagery

  • Simile

  • Metaphor

  • Alliteration

  • Personification

  • Onomatopoeia

  • Hyperbole

  • Idioms

Types of figurative language continuation

Types of Figurative Language Continuation

  • Allusion

  • Oxymoron

  • Symbol



Symbol is using an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning.

*The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships.

Symbol examples

Symbol (examples)



Allusion is a brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art. Casual reference to a famous historical or literary figure or event.

An allusion may be drawn from history, geography, literature, or religion.

Allusion example

Allusion (example)

We met as soul mates

On Parris Island

We left as inmates

From an asylum

And we were sharp

As sharp as knives

And we were so gung ho

To lay down our lives We came in spastic

Like tameless horses

We left in plastic

As numbered corpses

And we learned fast

To travel light

Our arms were heavy

But our bellies were tight

  • Lyrics from Goodnight Saigon by Billy Joel talking about the Vietnam War.



  • Oxymoron is putting two contradictory words together.

    • Jumbo shrimp

    • Legally drunk

    • Pretty ugly



  • Language that appeals to the senses. Descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our senses.

  • • Sight

  • • Hearing

  • • Touch

  • • Taste

  • • Smell

Imagery examples

Imagery (examples)

“On a starry winter night in Portugal

Where the ocean kissed the southern shore

There a dream I never thought would come to pass

Came and went like time spent through an hourglass”

-Teena Marie,

Did you notice how descriptive the lyrics are?

  • “Portuguese Love” The sample above was taken from soul, songstress of the 1980s, Teena Marie’s hit love song entitled “Portuguese Love.”



Simile is the comparison of two unlike

things using like or as.


  • The muscles on his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.

  • The toilet paper is as fluffy as a cloud.

  • He is as dumb as a brick.



  • A Metaphor is comparison of two unlike things using the verb "to be“.


    • The road was a ribbon wrapped through the dessert.

    • His teeth are rotten black olives.



  • Repeated consonant sounds occurring at the beginning of words or within words.


    • She was wide-eyed and wondering while she waited for Walter to waken.

    • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

    • Sally sells seashells by the seashore.



  • A figure of speech which gives the qualities of a person to an animal, an object, or an idea.


    • “The wind yells while blowing.“

      The wind cannot yell. Only a living thing can yell.

    • A smiling moon

    • A jovial Sun



  • Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it represents.


    • The firecracker made a loud ka-boom!

      • Glup

      • Grrr

      • Pow

      • Bang



  • An exaggerated statement used to heighten effect. It is not used to mislead the reader, but to emphasize a point.

    Example: She’s said so on several million occasions.



An Idiom is a fixed, distinctive, and often colorful expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the combined meanings of its individual words.


  • "She has a bee in her bonnet," meaning "she is obsessed”

  • Birds of a feather flock together

Figurative language resources

Figurative Language Resources

  • Eye on Idioms (Online PPT)

  • Paint by Idioms(Game)

  • Alliteration or Simile?(Quiz)

  • Similes and Metaphors(PPT)

  • The Search for Similes, Metaphors, and Idioms(PPT)

  • Alliteration (PPT)

  • Onomatopoeia (PPT)

  • Personification (PPT)

  • Hyperbole  (PPT)

  • Idioms (PPT)

  • Simile (PPT)

Teaching similes and metaphors

Teaching Similes and Metaphors

  • Alliteration Lesson Plan and Resources http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/1allitera.htm

  • Hyperbole- Lesson Plans and Resources http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/10lesson.htm

  • Idiom Lesson Plan http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/6lesson.htm

  • Imagery- Lesson Plans and Resources http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/imagery2.htm

  • Lesson Plan for Puns http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/5lesson.htm

  • Onomatopoeia- Lesson Plans and Resources http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/9lesson.htm

  • Personification Lesson Plans and Resources


  • Proverbs- Lesson Plans and Resources http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/proverbs2.htm

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