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Personification

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

Purpose:

Students will use metaphor, simile and personification to create imagery in their writing and recognize philanthropy in poetry.

 

Objectives:

The learner will:

• define and design his/her own metaphors and similes.

 

• identify philanthropy in the famous quotations of others.

 

 

 

Instructional Procedure(s):

 

Do Now:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost

 

Have students discuss what images form in their minds as a result of this poem and what it means.

• Put the following quotations on the board and discuss their images and messages as was done with the first quotation. If persons follow the messages of the quotations, how are they automatically acting philanthropically?

 

• “Life is an exciting business, and it is most exciting when it is lived for others.” Helen Keller

 

• “If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

• “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. If I touch a life, a life will touch me. If I give someone hope, hope is given to me. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree…” David Morris

 

• “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain

 

• “There are only two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton

 

• “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy

 

• Explain to students that poetry often paints visual images with conventions such as metaphor, simile and personification. Define the three conventions and then use the quotes from the first activity to identify examples of metaphor, simile and personification.

A metaphor can be described as a figure of speech in which a thing is referred to as being something that it resembles. For example, a fierce person can be referred to as a tiger or an uncommunicative person as being as “silent as stone”. A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison describing one thing as another, suggesting a likeness between them. It does not use “like” or “as.”

A simile is a comparison that is explicitly stated using the word “like” or “as.”

Personification is a figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to an animal, object or idea.

 

• Ask students if they are familiar with the quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Tell them that this quote inspired many young people at the time to join the Peace Corps. Give a little background on the Peace Corps and the effect that Kennedy had on the nation and young people of that time. How does Kennedy’s quote help improve the common good of a community or nation?

 

• Discuss the imagery found in one or two of his poems. Find examples of metaphor, simile and personification.

 

• Tell students that they are to write a statement about philanthropy that uses metaphor, simile and personification. One example is: Philanthropy is a big, cuddly, stuffed bear that keeps strangers warm.

 

Assessment:

The statements about philanthropy using metaphor, simile and personification may be used as an assessment.


The City

 

In the morning the city

Spreads its wings

Making a song

In stone that sings.

 

In the evening the city

Goes to bed

Hanging lights

Above its head.

 

--Langston Hughes

 

*****************

 

Both of the following poems were published in the anthology Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle, ed. Dunning, Lueders and Smith (1966).

 

The Toaster

 

A silver-scaled dragon with jaws flaming red

Sits at my elbow and toasts my bread.

I hand him fat slices, and then, one by one,

He hands them back when he sees they are done.

 

--William Jay Smith

 

Apartment House

 

A filing cabinet of human lives

Where people swarm like bees in tunnelled hives,

Each to his own cell in the covered comb,

Identical and cramped -- we call it home.

 

--Gerald Raftery

 

 

You are going to describe something metaphorically without naming the object explicitly. Pick an everyday object from around the house, such as a dryer or iron. Now list some things that it reminds you of or that it could be like. Now all you have to do is write four lines to describe your object. Your lines could rhyme AA BB just the last two above or your poem might rhyme only two lines or perhaps not rhyme at all.


 

"The Sky is Low"

by Emily Dickinson

 

The Sky is low-the Clouds are mean

A Traveling Flake of Snow

Across a Barn or through a Rut

Debates if it will go-

A Narrow Wind complains all Day

How some one treated him.

Nature, like Us is sometimes caught

Without her Diadem.

 

(Diadem: n. crown)

 

 

  • Discuss the theme: nature and human nature

*Identify the use of personification in the poem.

 

Discuss and answer the following questions:

*Why do you think people so often interpret natural phenomenon terms of human nature?

*Describe the scene in the poem.

*What does " mean" suggest about nature?

*What does "debates" suggest about the movement of the snowflake?

*What impression of the wind do you get from lines 5-6?

*Restate in your own words the meaning of lines 7-8.

*How would you reply to someone who said that this poem is merely a weather report in rhyme?

*Point out two examples of personification in the poem.

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