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How Do I Create Lessons on Personification?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

To create lessons on personification, consider ways in which you can have students identify this type of figurative language in other people’s writing and use it themselves. If possible, present this lesson while reading a particular work that has some excellent examples of personification so that it is applicable to what students are reading. Provide ways for students to use this writing technique in short samples to help them get a feel for it. As you create lessons on personification, come up with an assignment that students can complete outside of class to reinforce what is learned during the lesson.

Lessons on personification should identify the information you want students to recognize and understand, while presenting opportunities for them to engage in the process. Use knowledge you have of your students to determine the best ways for you to connect with them and present the lesson effectively. If you need to capture their attention at the beginning of a lesson, then consider something like using a piece of modern, popular music that many of your students listen to. Choose a selection that includes personification in the lyrics, and play this at the beginning of your lessons on personification to grab their attention and create meaning for the students.

Woman standing behind a stack of books
Woman standing behind a stack of books

Although there are many different types of activities you can include in lessons on personification, there are a few basic considerations to keep in mind. Allow your students to find examples of this type of figurative writing in the works of writers or poets. You can have this as part of an in-class assignment, or use it as homework, requiring them to find examples on their own. This allows your students to actively pursue personification and helps establish that it is a method used by writers and is not just something they have to learn.

Just as important as them finding personification in the work of others, however, is providing them with opportunities to use it themselves. There are a number of ways in which you can create lessons on personification in which you allow them to work with it, and the best method often depends on you and your students. One simple activity that you can use is a sentence exchange worksheet. Provide them with a selection of sentences that are fairly boring, such as “The moon was overhead,” and have them rewrite the sentences using personification. Provide them with examples so they understand what they are doing, such as that sentence being exchanged for “The crescent moon smiled silently in the night sky.”

Having students create their own sentences can also be an excellent way for you to ensure comprehension in your lessons on personification. You can have them create a number of sentences on their own, or write out a paragraph or two that demonstrates their mastery of this literary technique. Establish the number of examples you want them to create and allow them to complete this work in class or as homework.

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      Woman standing behind a stack of books