Leading Innovation 2012 Bootcamp

leadinginnovation2012 - Day 1 - Figuring Out Figurative Language -Figurative Language Check Out

Figures of speech are very common in all language and they are used to express things in interesting ways. It is important to remember that figurative language, or "picture talk", is often used to speak or write about abstract concepts or ideas in concrete terms. Whenever authors or poets describe something by comparing it with something else, they are using figures of speech or figurative language. Any language that goes beyond the actual meaning of words on the page to create a more emotional or visual insight for the reader is also considered figurative language. Also, figurative language is used to emphasize a point, make a vivid impression, or attract attention - typically causes a response of surprise and immediate interest for the listener or reader. In writing, using figurative language can help you have greater elaboration and clarity when describing persons, places, things, or ideas. Figurative language also adds color and vividness when illustrating or clarifying a point in your writing.

Types of Figurative Language

  • A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily means one thing is used to mean another: thus making a direct comparison, as in the examples,"my feet are boats", "a sea of troubles", or "All the world's a stage" (Shakespeare).
  • A simile is a figure of speech that compares two unlike things, often introduced with the words "like", "as", or "than": as in "Yellow butterflies flickered along the shade like flecks of sun" (William Faulkner)", "He ran as fast as the wind" or "cheaper than a hot dog with no mustard" (Beastie Boys). You need to be cautions, however: Many similes are clichés. Clichés are phrases that are overused and are NOT very original, so you should limit your use of well known similes, as in "Happy as pigs in mud" (David Eddings).
  • Personification is giving human traits (qualities, feelings, action, or characteristics) to non-living objects (things, colors, qualities, or ideas): as in "the smiling moon", "the cars danced across the icy road".
  • Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses sarcasm or exaggeration to create a strong visual or emotion for the reader: as in, "I like pancakes so much, I could eat a million of them", or "I will die if I don't get a Phoenix Silly Band".


Step 1: Get to Know More About Figurative Language

  • With a partner watch and discuss the following videos for more information and examples

More on Figurative Language

More on Metaphors

More on Simile & Metaphor

More on Personification

More on Hyperbole

Follow Up Discussion

Step 1

Be prepared to:
  • Share and discuss your thoughts about figurative language. Be sure to refer specifically to what you have read and viewed.
  • When you are ready to post your response, use the Discussion Question links located just below to enter a "post" containing your answers.
Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Everyday Figurative Language lhervey lhervey 0 33 Jun 12, 2012 by lhervey lhervey
Why Figurative Language lhervey lhervey 0 42 Jun 12, 2012 by lhervey lhervey
New Understanding lhervey lhervey 0 56 Jun 12, 2012 by lhervey lhervey

Step 2

Read the responses of all your peers:
  • Respond to and build on the ideas of at least three of your classmates.

How you will be evaluated:

Successful completion of this activity will be based on the Forum Participation Rubric.

Figurative Language Check Out

Please take the following Figurative Language Check Out individually.

What To Do Next

Complete this assignment, then go to Day 2: Literature and Figurative Language