Literal and Nonliteral Language

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Using our Literal and Nonliteral Language Lesson Plan, students will be able to define literal and nonliteral language, identify the differences, and give examples.  Critical thinking skills are engaged as students tell the meaning of nonliteral (figurative) language.Leverage peer learning as students work in pairs to explore the meaning, use and an image representing their assigned idiom.  By challenging students to create a new idiom, the concept of literal and nonliteral language is reinforced.

Literal and Nonliteral Language Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Literal and Nonliteral Language.
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice on defining the literal and nonliteral language, identifying their differences, etc.
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-4 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

Using our Literal and Nonliteral Language Lesson Plan, students will be able to define literal and nonliteral language, identify the differences, and give examples.  Critical thinking skills are engaged as students tell the meaning of nonliteral (figurative) language.Leverage peer learning as students work in pairs to explore the meaning, use and an image representing their assigned idiom.  By challenging students to create a new idiom, the concept of literal and nonliteral language is reinforced.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Say: It is raining hard. No, I mean it is raining cats and dogs. AND I am very hungry. I am so hungry, I can eat a horse. (You may use other examples.) Ask students if they can tell the difference between the pairs of statements. Which gives more information?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce literal and nonliteral language.
  3. Distribute Literal-Nonliteral Language content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Give students a few moments to share responses to: Describe something about yourself using literal and nonliteral language. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Pair students. Encourage students to work together and discuss each image before drawing the final picture. (Images will vary.) Tell students to think about the real meaning of each idiom.
  5. Once completed, students will share the images with the class, use the idioms in a sentence aloud, and tell the meaning of the idioms.
  6. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  7. Distribute the Homework page. Review the instructions, reminding students they may have a parent or family member assist them. The next day, students share their sentences.
  8. In closing, challenge students to create a new nonliteral saying. Tell them their goal is to try and get other students to use it over the next week. Distribute a small slip of paper to record it; collect them for later use.
  9. After one week, review the students’ made-up figurative language phrases/sentences and ask students how often they may have heard it.
  10. Ask students to share the real meaning of the nonliteral language.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.5.A, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions.

Want more reading resources?  Check out our other Reading Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Reading