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Home:Curriculum Showcase:Elementary Features:Branching Out with Literary Devices

Elementary - Branching Out with Literary Devices

The Curriculum Showcase celebrates thoughtful, well designed lessons that are being taught in District 95.  Here we are showcasing what is being taught, how it exemplifies our District 95 mission, and how it ties the curriculum objectives to active learning. Read the summary below the slideshow to learn more.






Kimberly Woodley
Grade Level, Content Area
Fourth Grade; Reading
Mission statement traits addressed

Continuous Learners who. . .
 • Pursue and engage in learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom
 • Embrace challenges and opportunities; take risks
 • Actively listen
 • Are curious and motivated
 • Are open to all forms of learning and technologies

Local or state objectives addressed

1.C.2e Explain how authors and illustrators use text and art to express their ideas (e.g., points of view, design hues, metaphor).
2.A.2a Identify literary elements and literary techniques in a variety of literary works.


Spencer Loomis fourth grade teacher, Kimberly Woodley has incorporated reading, writing, and technology into a daily, interactive bulletin board display that allows her students a long term outlet to being continuous learners.
Students in Mrs. Woodley’s class learned to both recognize and use figurative language such as similes, metaphors, personification, hyperboles, and idioms. Together they created an interactive bulletin board entitled “Branching out with Literary Devices” which is used daily. The items hanging from the Literary Tree have changed monthly or seasonally on symbolic forms such as apples, pumpkins, turkeys, ornaments, and mittens.
Students identified examples of figurative language in their reading and posted examples on the interactive bulletin board. They also generate figurative language in their writing which can be included on the tree. “The students are excited to demonstrate their learning, and it is so much more than simply a paper and pencil worksheet type of assessment,” said Mrs. Woodley. 
The project, which began as a lesson during the students’ reading block, extended to a daily ongoing activity in which the students take ownership of their own learning. Mrs. Woodley explains, “The Literature Tree is a constant reminder to the students to identify literary devices as they are reading and to generate them when they are writing. The changing nature of the Literary Tree has created excitement as students can’t wait to hang their writing on the tree.”
The document camera is used daily to share the examples of figurative language with students in a large group setting. “The document camera has made a dramatic difference in the way I deliver instruction. I use it constantly to teach and reinforce lessons. Students are extremely attentive when I use the document camera. I have definitely seen higher levels of engagement this year as opposed to other years when simple worksheets were used to study and practice literary devices.”
Mrs. Woodley explained that the ongoing study of figurative language has impacted students’ writing. “They are using similes, metaphors, and hyperboles when they write. Whenever I read to them during daily read alouds, students notice right away when the author has employed one of these devices. They’ll get excited and say, “That’s an idiom!”  or  “That’s a hyperbole!” They seem to understand how much more interesting a writing piece can be when some of these literary devices are used by well known authors. They want to be like the authors they read, so they try to use the devices too.”  







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