Copyright

Figurative Language Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Figurative language makes writing spicy! This lesson focuses on many types of figurative language and gives you some fun examples so you can write your own! Updated: 04/24/2020

Interesting Writing

Do you ever pause after reading something and think, 'Wow, that was a really cool way to say that?' If you've ever had that thought, you might have come across figurative language. Figurative language is a special form of writing that makes interesting comparisons to allow the reader to think about a topic in a new way. Once you learn more about figurative language, you'll be able to recognize it in stories, poems, and even songs!

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Metaphor Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Interesting Writing
  • 0:32 Main Types of…
  • 3:33 Figurative Language in Songs
  • 4:14 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Main Types of Figurative Language

Simile

The first type of figurative language that we're going to look at is the simile, which is defined as a comparison of two things using the words 'like' or 'as.'

For example, let's take a look at this sentence:

  • After a long day at the beach, my skin was as red as a tomato.

Was the skin actually that red? No, it wasn't, but by comparing it to a tomato, the reader gets a strong visual image of the sunburn.

Here's another one:

  • After not exercising for a couple weeks, the short jog was like a marathon.

What's the message here? Running a marathon is an incredibly challenging thing, even for trained athletes. So by comparing the short jog to a marathon, the message is that the jog was extremely difficult.

Metaphor

Another kind of figurative language is the metaphor, which is a comparison of two things without using the words 'like' or 'as.' Notice that while similes always use the words 'like' or 'as,' metaphors never do.

For example, take a look at the following sentence:

  • The child is a ray of sunshine.

Of course, the child isn't actually a flaming ball of gas, so what could it mean? Since sunshine is always a treat, it warms us up and brightens our moods. If the child is being compared to the sun, the child makes us feel good and brightens days.

Another metaphor can be found in the sentence:

  • My brother is the clown of the family.

Do you think the brother walks around in clown shoes? Probably not! By comparing the brother to a clown, it's saying that he is the silliest family member. Let's move on.

Personification

When someone give human qualities to non-human things, we call it personification. This one's pretty easy to recognize. If the thing is doing something that it wouldn't be able to do in real life, it's probably personification.

For example:

  • The tall trees danced during the storm.

Did the trees do the cha-cha? No! This example gives a visual to the reader that the trees swayed, almost as if to a beat.

Another example is:

  • The angry seas made the boat rescue nearly impossible.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account