Language Anchor Standard 5 Level C/D

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Leveled Standard C
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  1. Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
  2. Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
  3. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words. (L.5.5)

Leveled Standard D

  1. N/A

Teacher Notes

Students should know key terms that describe word relationships and figurative language; however, it is important that students have opportunities to study this language in context and discuss how the figurative language and word choice contribute to a writer or speaker’s tone and purpose.

A metaphor is a term or phrase that is used to make a comparison between two things that aren’t alike.
Example: The world is your oyster.

A simile is a term or phrase that is used to compare two things and uses “like” or “as” in the comparison. Example: Our soldiers are as brave as lions.

An idiom is a traditional way of saying something. Often an idiom, such as “under the weather,” does not seem to make sense if taken literally.

A proverb is a general truth or piece of advice. Example: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

An adage is a proverb or short statement expressing a general truth. Example: Out of sight, out of mind.

A homonym is a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not. Example: heir and air

A homograph is a word spelled the same way as another word but differing in meaning and sometimes in pronunciation. Example: bass (fish) and bass (low, deep voice)

An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another. Example: bad and good

A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase. Examples: beautiful, attractive, pretty, lovely, stunning

Examples / Activities
Figurative Language: Tractors Take Over

Students analyze the figurative language in a short passage from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

opens in a new window Workforce Readiness Skills:

GED® Assessment Targets (RLA)
R.4.1/L.4.1 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining connotative and figurative meanings from context.
R.4.2/L.4.2 Analyze how meaning or tone is affected when one word is replaced with another.
R.4.3/L.4.3 Analyze the impact of specific words, phrases, or figurative language in text, with a focus on an author’s intent to convey information or construct an argument.

opens in a new window BrightHub Education: Teaching Homophones
opens in a new window EdHelper Homonyms List
opens in a new window How to Show Students that Word Choice Matters by Kara Wymans
opens in a new window WiseLearn Resources: Figurative Language Terms
YourDictionary opens in a new window Examples of Figurative Language
and opens in a new window Figurative Language

ELA Activities for Level C / D
Summarizing Pro/Con Videos
Have students work in groups to find a persuasive speech online, use a graphic organizer to analyze the speaker’s claims, and write a summary in five sentences or less. Read More Summarizing Pro/Con Videos
Using Multimedia Strategically
Students discuss good and bad presentations and read tips for avoiding multimedia mistakes. Then, they revise one of their own presentations by adding or changing a multimedia element. Read More Using Multimedia Strategically
Listening and Responding Across Subject Areas
Students listen to and discuss informational audio presentations. Read More Listening and Responding Across Subject Areas
Classroom Debate
Students select a debate topic, organize pro/con teams, conduct research, plan arguments, and carry out a classroom debate. Read More Classroom Debate
Too Broke to Learn
Students will read a three-part blog series to gain a new perspective on student poverty and the stereotypes surrounding people who experience poverty through no choice of their own. Read More Too Broke to Learn
More Activities