Word choice; personification; poetry tools
Mentor Text Suggestions:
Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
Dirty Laundry Pile by Paul Janeczko (ed.)
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman
The Goldfish Yawned by Elizabeth Sayles
School Supplies: A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins
The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton
Personification is a comparison in which something that is not human is described with human qualities. This tool is used especially by poets, but authors of other texts as well, to create mind pictures for the reader. Introduce this literary craft to students by pointing out examples in mentor texts such as those listed above.
Have students go on a “personification walk.” Have them make a list of things they notice (trees, clouds, rocks, grass, wind, etc.) Ask them to choose one and make a list of ways their subject seems human or animal-like. Example: Trees = Giant hands reaching toward the sky. (Heard, 1999).