Teaching Literary Devices

Literary Devices
Teaching Literary Devices

I love teaching literary devices, and all my children (including the English shy Thomas) have loved learning about them. I don’t use any worksheets, just teaching them as they come up in the children’s homeschool. My older children were much more avid readers than my younger two and therefore picked up writing styles quickly and relatively easily. Abs and Becs read less which has the knock on effect of decreasing their exposure to different writing styles and literary devices. In order to attempt to counteract this, I came up with a cunning plan! Well, not really that cunning, but I am quite excited about its possibilities.

Literary Devices: Introducing them

This year, we are reading books which were written around the time we are learning about – 1900-1910. The second book we read was Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame written in 1908. I read it to my older ones when they were about five. They loved it, but it didn’t occur to me to teach them all about the wonderful way Grahame wrote. Reading it over the past couple of weeks has been a delight. Literary devices are sprinkled all the way through each chapter, crafting such interesting turns of phrase. So I began pointing them out to the girls…alliteration…rule of three… metaphor… onomatopoeia… it’s all in there, and Grahame writes them all with style. This led to the girls shouting out whenever they recognised something. ‘Alliteration Mummy!’ ‘That’s onamata something or other!’ Which in turn led me to wonder how I could capture and record this learning for the girls to return to later on for use in their own writing. The reference books were born.

Literary Devices: Reference Book

First, I bought two books from Tescos and sent off for some adhesive tabs from Amazon. Next, I separated out the books so that each tab contained ten pages. Finally, I labelled the tabs:

Literary Devices

I went through each book and wrote what each literary device was and its effect:

We are now going back over the Wind in the Willows, one chapter per day, and writing down the most obvious examples of each literary device:

I am hoping that this will be useful to consolidate their learning, be a reference guide for future writing and lastly to begin to build the tools they need for their IGCSE English Language.

And best of all, they love it!

For more English posts go over to my Language Arts Page

For a look into my post describing how I helped the older children edit there own writing, click on the picture below:

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