Shedding Light on Literary Devices

This is intended to be a CULMINATING ACTIVITY.

Up to this point, students have been guided through discussions and exploration of all literary devices and figurative language techniques. They have done so working with their personal novels, teacher assigned novels, specific test preparation packets, etc. Everything they have worked on and worked with to this point is considered an open free-flowing resource of material for this project.

In other words, students have become well acquainted with a huge list of Reading/Writing Terms and Concepts. They’ve had individual, pair group, small group, large group, and whole class activities as they worked with various students of different cultural backgrounds with different learning styles throughout the school year.

Preparation for this project begins by having the students gather their resources.

Day 1-2: Conferencing, Brainstorming, Drafting, Conceptual Group Selections & Information Coalescence

Have students take notes and research in pairs or as individuals the complete list of Reading and Writing Terms and Concepts that all students should know and be able to discuss. The list can be found by following the link to the Standardized Test Prep Terms page.

Brainstorming, Drafting

Day 3-4: Conferencing, Drafting, Planning, Editing, Redrafting

Students can work on their own, in pairs, or with groups of up to four. Assign, or allow them to sign up for a conceptual group of terms.

Some suggested conceptual groups are (overlapping is intentional):

  1. Messages: Title, Theme, Main Idea, Symbolism, Repetition, thesis,
  2. Tensions: Setting & Mood, Author’s and/or Character’s Tone, Points of View
  3. Characters 1: Main Character (Protagonist, Dynamic, Round) VS Secondary Character (Antagonist, Static, Flat)
  4. Characters 2: Main Character, Conflict(s), Setting(s)
  5. Non-Literals 1: Connotation, Sarcasm, Irony, Hyperbole, Idiom
  6. Non-Literals 2: Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Metonymy, Symbolism
  7. Sound Devices 1: Alliteration, Consonance, Assonance, Dissonance, Repetition
  8. Sound Devices 2: Meter, Accent, Stress, Unstress, Rhythm
  9. Sound Devices 3: Rhyme, Meter, End Rhyme, Internal Rhyme
  10. Sound Devices: Cacophany, Euphony, Near Rhyme, Onomatopoeia
  11. Plot 1: Plot, Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution
  12. Plot 2: Exposition, Main Character, Setting, Conflict
  13. Plot 3: Rising Action, Conflict, Complications
  14. Plot 3: Climax, Conflict, Point of View, Main Idea, Theme
  15. Plot 4: Falling Action, Resolution, Sequel
  16. Devices of Persuasion 1: Bandwagon, Plain Folks, Testimonial, Snob Appeal, Emotional Words
  17. Devices of Persuasion 2: Explicitly Stated Facts, Humor, Repetition, Rule of Three, Warm & Fuzzy
  18. Devices of Persuasion 3: Charisma, Extrapolation, Flattery, Glittering Generalities, Nostalgia, Scapegoating
  19. Devices of Persuasion 4: Ethos, Logos, Pathos
  20. Five Sense Devices: Sight, Taste, Touch, Sound, Smell

Explain that: You will be creating a posters/presentations to illustrate your conceptual group of terms. Your poster/presentation must include (1) the terms/concepts, (2) the definitions, and (3) examples. You MUST be able to explain everything and anything questioned that is presented. If you can not explain how your example is a good one, then you are not helping yourself, and you certainly are doing no one else any good.

Allow the groups 160 minutes (2 in class days and two homework nights) to complete the project. Projects must be taken through the entire creative process.

Day 5-6: Presentations

I always ask for a group to volunteer to go first as this eases the prepresentation tension in the room. After that, other groups tend to volunteer. If none do after that, pull group letters out of a hat (or other thing acting as a “hat”). This takes the pressure off the teacher, negates the notion of favoritism, and creates a level playing field for all.

Presentations should take no longer than 10 total minutes:

  • 7 minutes – Presentation of topic, definition, examples with explanations
  • 3 minutes – Time for studens to take notes from poster, and ask questions
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