Teaching figurative language is always such a fun time of the year. It almost feels like a break from the rigorous comprehension skills and strategies we teach every day in reading. Even though teaching and learning about figurative language is rigorous in itself, it’s a breath of fresh air and fun to many students in the class. It helps bring out their creative side and dig deep into the mind of an author. One of the best ways to experience figurative language is through mentor texts themselves. I’ve gathered some of my favorite figurative language mentor texts to share with you today along with some fantastic (and FREE) figurative language printables!
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Figurative Language Mentor Text #1: The Night Box
The Night Box is a beautifully written and almost poetic story about night and day from a young child’s perspective. Through personification, similes, and onomatopoeia, the author writes in detail how night changes to day and day to night.
“Day is yawning. Quiet settles in the trees. The birds fold their wings. The singing stops. Yellow sinks behind the rooftops. A little boy watches the last drips of light drop down onto long shadows. Plop!”
This is a fantastic book to use to showcase figurative language and how it’s used naturally in descriptive writing. Through using the close reading process, students get an even deeper understanding of this amazing story. Students could mimic this book with two other opposites and use it as a writing mentor text as well! Definitely a must-read for your figurative language week!
Mentor Text #2: Bedhead
An absolute classic story, am I right? Who hasn’t read Bedhead!? I LOVE this book and so do my students. It’s a fun book to also bring out when teaching figurative language. I love how the author uses figurative language throughout the story in a very natural way as it’s a part of the author’s vocabulary as well as the characters’. Readers can get a true sense of how we use figurative language already in our everyday voice and that it can become a part of our writing as well as experienced in our reading.
The one type of figurative language used mostly throughout the book is onomatopoeia! “E-Oooow! OOO-Ouch! Y-Y-Y-Yike!” Can your students find all of the different and unique ways onomatopoeia is used throughout the story?
Figurative Language Mentor Text #3: The Honest to Goodness Truth
Talk about a story that every child needs to hear and learn! The Honest to Goodness Truth is about a young girl who is learning that the truth is always important to tell. However, it’s not always something you announce to the world. Libby tries hard to tell the truth as her mama tells her to but her friends don’t like it. When Libby finally gets a taste of her own medicine, she realizes what telling the truth really means.
This is a great book to use to teach figurative language! It’s used and written all throughout the story in a very natural dialogue with the characters. I truly believe it helps bring the characters to life. Their personality and dialect come out through the writing and usage of figurative language throughout the story.
“She was surprised at how easy the lie slid out of her mouth like it was greased with warm butter.” Your students will not only love the lesson learned in this story, but they’ll also learn so much about understanding and using figurative language as well!
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Mentor Text #4: The Seashore Book
One of my favorite places in the world is the ocean. Being there just brings peace and tranquility. I can’t imaging being someone who has never been, but there are many people out there who haven’t. The character in the story, The Seashore Book is one of them!
“You lie down in the hot noonday sun now, and it feels warm as a big, soft cat covering you, taking away the chill of the waves. The swish-swashing sound of them lulls you to sleep.”
In the book, there’s a young boy who has never been to the beach. He asks his mother to describe the beach to him. Using beautifully descriptive and figurative language, the mom describes detail by detail what being at the ocean for a day is like. If you’ve never been to the ocean yourself, I promise you, you’ll experience it through this book.
Figurative Language Mentor Text #5: Owl Moon
When teachers ask for a recommendation for a figurative language mentor text, Owl Moon is always #1. It’s an absolute classic! The entire book is filled with similes, metaphors, hyperboles, and so much more!
The story is about a young girl on her first owling night with her father. She is excited but has to be extremely quiet and doesn’t want to upset her father. Through the story’s descriptive writing, you feel as if you’re there with the girl, experiencing it all yourself! One of the best figurative language mentor texts around!
“There was no wind. The trees stood still as giant statues. And the moon was so bright the sky seemed to shine. Somewhere behind us, a train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song.”
Mentor Text #6: The World Is Your Oyster
I saved this one for last because it’s so fun and so unique! The World Is Your Oyster is a super-fast read. It’s not a typical story structure type book. It’s more of a ‘pick me up’ book for when you’re having a bad day. The ENTIRE book is written in idioms and hyperboles. Yes, I mean it. 100%.
There’s only one sentence per page and each page is either a common idiom or hyperbole. But put together, they all tell a quick pick-me-up story for when you’re having a bad day! I love having students read the book (only takes 3 minutes) and then analyzing each page for the page’s original meaning! If you’re looking for a super fun book to help teach idioms and hyperboles – this is definitely it!
Did you find a new figurative language mentor text? I hope so! Make sure to pin the image below to save this post for later AND head back up to snag your FREE figurative language printables!