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Lesson Plan: Figurative Language

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 5

Lesson Objective: To understand what figurative language is and identify it in a text

Common Core StandardCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.




  • Why are similes and metaphors used in stories?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Similes and metaphors are used by authors when they want to describe or explain something in a more creative or interesting way.
  • Similes and metaphors are called figurative language because they help to paint a picture in your imagination of what the author is describing.
  • Remember, a simile is a comparison of one thing with another thing that uses the words “like” or “as.”  For example, “she was as brave as a lion” or “he was as quiet as a mouse.”
  • A metaphor is when a person, place or thing is made to seem like it is something else, even though it really isn’t.  You do not use the words “like” or “as” in a metaphor. For example, “he is a ray of sunshine” or “she has a heart of gold.”
  • People cannot actually be rays of sunshine or have hearts of gold, but using figurative language helps you to better understand what the author is trying to express.
  • Sometimes a simile can be changed into a metaphor.  For example, “she is a like a diamond in the rough” is a simile.  You can change it to, “she is a diamond in the rough” to make it a metaphor.
  • Remember, the difference between a simile and a metaphor is that a simile uses the words “like” or “as” and a metaphor states that something is something else without using those words.
  • Now, you are going to read part of a story.  You are going to pay attention to the figurative language.  Then, you will answer the questions.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share their answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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