Figuratively Speaking..

Cross Cultural Figurative Language


Everyone has, at some point in his or her life, fallen victim to cultural misunderstanding. I believe it is the duty of the educator to expose students to materials that they would otherwise not encounter. This is why, the purpose of this text set is to introduce students to figurative language through a variety of cross-cultural items. These texts will also allow the student to infer that language is a commonality between countries around the world. Although these texts are all in English, the student will see how writers use figurative language to make language more fun and exciting, to add color and imagination. Figurative language ranges from similes and metaphors, which are comparisons; to hyperbole, which are extreme exaggerations; to personification, which is giving human characteristics to nonhuman things; and to onomatopoeia, which is a word that represents a sound.

Figurative language is ubiquitous. Whether or not you are aware of it, there is figurative language in everything you read. My goal is to expose students to figurative language from texts from around the world, as well as from this country, so that they will be both embracing cultures foreign to them while simultaneously learning to find figurative language in various types of texts. There are stories, narratives, poems, and one song that all contain examples of figurative language. This text set is designed to supplement a sixth grade figurative language curriculum, where I would use these texts to help the students discover figurative language within a variety of fictional texts. My hope is that my lessons can overlap, and include figurative language within fiction lessons, poetry lessons, and more.

Description of Students

The intended recipient of this text set is a 6th grade English class. The SOLs require that 6th graders are taught figurative language in SOL 6.5j. I thought it would be more interesting to have a variety of cultural contexts when learning figurative language. My hypothetical students have a wide range of reading abilities, ranging from 3rd grade to 7th grade reading levels. These students also have a variety of needs to be met and should be taught in a variety of ways. There are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners in my classroom and their different learning types should also be addressed. Some students are interested in reading, while others are not. However, I believe the wide range of items in this text set should provide for all learners.

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