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    Figurative Language Unit

    Laurie Warner

    Colorado State University-Global

    Learning Theories and Models of Instruction

    OTL 502

    Dr. Nella Anderson

    March 9, 2014

  • Figurative Language Unit

    Figurative Language in Personal Narrative Lesson Plan

    Sixth Grade

    Sixth grade students have been learning poetic devices – onomatopoeia, similes,

    metaphors, and alliteration in poetry. This lesson is designed to teach students that these poetic

    devices can be used effectively in a narrative writing piece to engage the reader. Further, the

    lesson will support ongoing instruction in grammar, mechanics, and usage. Organization, self

    assessment, and peer conferencing are also reinforced.

    Stage 1 – Desired Results

    Content Standard(s): 3. Writing and Composition

    1. Writing literary genres for intended audiences and purposes requires ideas, organization, and voice

    a. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (CCSS: W.6.3)

    i. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. (CCSS: W.6.3a)

    ii. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. (CCSS: W.6.3b)

    iii. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another. (CCSS: W.6.3c)

    iv. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events. (CCSS: W.6.3d)

    v. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. (CCSS: W.6.3e)

    b. Employ a range of planning strategies to generate descriptive and sensory details (webbing, free writing, graphic organizers)

    c. Use a range of poetic techniques (alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme scheme); figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification); and graphic elements (capital letters, line length, word position) to express personal or narrative voice in texts

    d. Organize literary and narrative texts using conventional organizational patterns of the chosen genre

    e. Use literary elements of a text (well-developed characters, setting, dialogue, conflict) to present ideas in a text

    f. Use word choice, sentence structure, and sentence length to create voice and tone in writing

  • (Colorado Department of Education [CDE], 2010, p. 115) 2. Writing informational and persuasive genres for intended audiences and

    purposes require ideas, organization, and voice develop a. Write multi-paragraph compositions that have clear topic development,

    logical organization, effective use of detail, and variety in sentence structure

    b. d. Organize information into a coherent essay or report with a thesis statement in the introduction and transition sentences to link paragraphs

    c. e. Write to pursue a personal interest, to explain, or to persuade d. Write to analyze informational texts (explains the steps in a scientific

    investigation) e. Analyze and improve clarity of paragraphs and transitions f. Select vocabulary and information to enhance the central idea

    (CDE, 2010, p. 116) 3. Specific editing for grammar, usage, mechanics, and clarity gives writing its

    precision and legitimacy a. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English

    grammar and usage when writing or speaking. (CCSS: L.6.1) b. Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective,

    objective, possessive). (CCSS: L.6.1a) c. Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves). (CCSS: L.6.1b) d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number

    and person. (CCSS: L.6.1c) e. Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or

    ambiguous antecedents). (CCSS: L.6.1d) f. Recognize variations from standard English in their own and

    others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language. (CCSS: L.6.1e)

    g. Identify fragments and run-ons and revise sentences to eliminate them

    h. Use coordinating conjunctions in compound sentences i. Maintain consistent verb tense within paragraph. j. Choose adverbs to describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs k. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English

    capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. (CCSS: L.6.2)

    b. Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements. (CCSS: L.6.2a)

    c. Spell correctly. (CCSS: L.6.2b) a. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing,

    speaking, reading, or listening. (CCSS: L.6.3) d. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.

    (CCSS: L.6.3a) e. Maintain consistency in style and tone. (CCSS: L.6.3b)

    a. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in grade level expectations 1 and 2 above.) (CCSS: W.6.4)

    b. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing,

  • rewriting, or trying a new approach. (CCSS: W.6.5) (CDE, 2010, p. 117)

    Understandings: Students will understand that…

     … organization is essential in writing narratives (or any genre) and provides cohesiveness to writing

     … poetic devices can bring narratives to life for the reader and improve voice, thus helping to engage the reader

     … proper grammar, mechanics, and usage are important for the flow of a written piece of work

    Essential Questions:

     How can a writer use words to engage the reader?

     How can organization help the reader understand?

     How can a writer use self-assessment to improve writing?

     What are important elements to look for when evaluating a peer’s writing?

    Student objectives (outcomes): Students will know and be able to…

     … correctly use onomatopoeia, alliteration, metaphors, similes, and strong vocabulary to make narrative writing engaging to readers.

     … use a rubric to self-assess own writing.

     … engage the reader through use of the above poetic devices.

     … organize work by using graphic organizers

    Students will build relationships by…

     … conducting peer reviews of writing. Peers will work on constructive criticism to help each other improve writing. Students often want to give each other great reviews, but students will work on offering suggestions to improve writing.

     … meeting with instructor to discuss plans for writing. Students will complete a plan and meet with the teacher before beginning writing. Individual students and the teacher will discuss organization before the student begins writing.

    Narrative Writing Pre-Assessment

    A unit on narrative writing using figurative language has been planned for sixth grade

    students. The purpose of the unit is to instruct students in creating meaningful, engaging writing

    pieces. The pre-assessment was administered prior to beginning the unit. The pre-assessment was

    made up of nine questions worth a total of thirty-five points. The questions address using proper

    conventions, knowledge of various writing or poetry styles, and ask students to give a sample of

    their writing by writing at least two paragraphs. Students are asked to demonstrate their

    understanding of writing styles by including at least three of these in their writing. The writing

    was assessed using a rubric (attached with the assessment).

  • Several forms of formative assessment will be utilized throughout the unit. These

    assessments include:

    * Teacher questions during instruction and student work time

    * Observation of whole group, small group, and independent tasks

    * Student-teacher conferencing

    * Discussions during whole group, small group, and pair-share discussions

    * Worksheets provided by the teacher

    The pre-assessment was developed by adapting an assessment written by the author for

    another writing unit. The assessment was administered during a normal class period, allowing

    students fifty minutes to complete the assessment. The students were then given the graded

    assessment with a rubric showing how the assessment was graded. Students were given time to

    study the rubric and ask any questions the students had about the assessment and expectations.

    The following day students were given a goal worksheet to set their personal writing goal or

    goals. Students were encouraged to create a short-term goal and a long-term goal in writing

    narratives using figurative language, including conventions, paragraphing, and improving voice

    in their writing to make writing more engaging.

    After assessing the students, a need for improving conventions and paragraphing was

    evident. Students need to improve organization and mechanics while activ


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