Sunday, October 21, 2018

Personification Lesson Ideas

One of my favorite things to teach is figurative language.  I enjoy helping students identify figurative language, discover it in stories and poems, and ponder what it means and why the author chose to write or describe something in such a creative way. Often times, students are able to communicate ideas and  meanings of figurative language that I have not considered. I love these discussions and discoveries that we make together.

Personification is a type of figurative language in which authors give non-human objects or things human characteristics. When students are exposed to personification in literature, the words create a startling and unique visual image that captures the reader's imagination. I have found that personification can be challenging for some students, but with much exposure to literature containing personification, students are able to become equipped with the skills needed to identify and discuss personification.

Here are a few ideas to help your older students understand personification.


The Widow's Broom, Hello, Harvest Moon, Lonely Scarecrow, Apples to Oregon, and The Spider and the Fly are excellent books for teaching personification.

There are many great books that can be used for teaching students personification. A few of my favorite fall books include: The Widow's Broom, Hello, Harvest Moon, Lonely Scarecrow, Apples to Oregon, and The Spider and the Fly. Each one of these books has great examples of personification, but my favorite to use is Hello, Harvest Moon

Hello, Harvest Moon poetically describes the beauty of the harvest moon as well as its effects on nature using figurative language. This book is packed full of many unique examples of personification. Similes and metaphors are abundant as well. Because of the sheer number of examples of personification, this is an excellent book to use as an introductory lesson.

Anchor Chart:

I created this anchor chart to help my students identify and remember personification. I thought the fall theme went great with the fall themed books that I shared with my class. I don't always have a lot of time to create anchor charts. One time saving tip: enlarge and print out your favorite clip art to glue to your anchor chart. Then add the wording as needed. This adorable clip art is from Creating4 the Classroom. 

Show Me the Card:

This easy game is a fun way for your students to review personification along with similes and metaphors. To play, students will listen as you read a sentence aloud. The students will then listen for a simile, a metaphor, or personification and will hold up the corresponding card. Also included in this packet is a graphic organizer and a worksheet to practice or to use as an assessment. You and your students will enjoy this easy activity.  Simply click HERE to find everything you need for this activity in my Show Me the Card Activity.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed day!

By the way, I'd love for you to follow me on Instagram!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October Reading and Grammar Ideas

It is hard to believe that October is already here! This month can be a great time for teachers to fill lesson plans with some fun activities that are fall and Halloween related. To add a little fun to your lessons, here are some simple, but fun ideas for the month of October.

Read-Alouds for October:

One of the easiest ways to add some October fun to your reading lessons is with books. Here are a few of my favorite read-alouds for this month.

The Best Halloween Ever

The Best Halloween Ever is another book in the series by Barbara Robinson that will have your students laughing nonstop. (If you have not read The Best School Year Ever and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, they are some of my students' favorites!) The hilarious antics of the Herdmans continue in this funny book that your students will love. This is a perfect book to read and enjoy in October!

The Spider and the Fly

Now, I love a beautiful picture book, and this one definitely fits into that category. This picture book beautifully illustrates the poem by Mary Howitt originally published in 1828. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but they will help students to understand the poem. I love to engage students in discussions of the illustrations and how they contribute to the poem, how the illustrations contribute to the mood of the poem, and once the book is read, discuss the theme of the poem.

The Widow's Broom

Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite children's authors and illustrators, and The Widow's Broom is my favorite October picture book, hands-down. This book can be used to teach a variety of strategies and skills, but best of all, this is such a wonderful story to read.

The story begins with a widow named Mina Shaw. While flying her broom over the widow's farm, a witch falls to the earth when her broom looses its magic. When Mina Shaw finds the witch, she decides to welcome her into her home so she may heal from her injuries. Once better, the witch leaves, leaving the broom behind. At first, the widow finds the broom ordinary, but eventually she realizes it is magical, and it becomes annoying because of its constant sweeping. Soon she teaches it other chores, and the broom becomes a very helpful companion to Mina Shaw. The neighbors, the Spiveys, cannot see the good the broom is doing, and they believe the broom is evil. After the broom teaches the Spivey boys a lesson, the father wants it destroyed.  When men come to take the broom, Widow Shaw shows them where the broom sleeps, and Mr. Shaw along with other men take the broom and burn it; however, the "ghost" of the broom is soon seen around the Spivey house causing the scared Spiveys to move away. At the end, readers discover that the widow tricked the Spiveys by giving them a regular broom.

 Students must make inferences to understand the end of the story. It is always so much fun to see the "light bulb" moment when students realize and understand what truly happens to the broom at the end of the story. This book also great to teach story elements, theme, foreshadowing, point of view, as well as acceptance and bullying.

Graphic Organizers for October:

Whether you are reading an October themed book or not, October themed graphic organizers are a great way to add some fun and interest to your reading lessons. My set of Halloween themed graphic organizers are great to use with not only the books listed above, but they are also great to use with almost any book or text. A variety of fun graphic organizers are included such as the one seen in the picture above. There are also graphic organizers that can be used with nonfiction text, like the one pictured below. Click on either picture to find them in my TpT store.

October Parts of Speech Quilts:

My Halloween themed parts of speech quilts are a fun way for your students to review the parts of speech. Your students will love coloring to identify the parts of speech while creating fun quilt pieces that make a great hallway or bulletin board display. I love using these after a test or on days that we do not have specials (activity). 

October Callbacks

A great way to keep your students focused this October is to use callbacks. These are my favorite October callbacks to use with my students. Surprisingly, even 4th and 5th graders enjoy using callbacks. Best of all, they really work to get students focused and ready to listen.