If you’re an English teacher, you already know that personification is when you give an object, animal, or piece of nature, human characteristics. An example of this would be saying, “My phone is always yelling at me!” whereas, in reality, your phone cannot yell, but you have personified it by saying it does.
Now, how do you make this topic interesting in your language class? We have developed a list of game ideas and other fun activities that you can use to supplement your existing teaching resources!
1. Video Activity
Listen to this short, 2.5-minute, video which provides a quick introduction to what personification is. The video then provides a plethora of examples. As they watch, have students record as many examples of personification as they can find.
Learn more: Tolentino Teaching
2. Read a Poem
Read The Moon by Emily Dickinson and have students observe how Dickinson’s poetic language personifies the moon. Poems for students that are accompanied by a worksheet on personification are a great addition to any lesson.
Learn more: Education
3. Show Me The Card
Students hold up one of these three cards after you read a sentence. This hands-on activity gives teachers instant feedback on who understands the figurative language and who might need more practice distinguishing between personification, metaphor, and simile.
Learn more: Teaching Fourth
4. Read Short Stories
These five short stories, pictured here, have a deep focus on personification. I would start a lesson with Hello, Harvest Moon, and point out how the moon is personified before moving into the formal figurative language unit.
Learn more: Teaching Fourth
5. Graphic Organizer
Graphic organizers are fantastic tools for young learners. Have students come up with their own non-human nouns and then pair them with an action verb that only a human would do. As they answer the Why, How, and Where columns, they will begin to build their own poem.
Learn more: Read Write Think
6. List 10
After reading a poem or one of the short stories from item 4 above, instruct students to write down ten personifying action verbs from the literature. Then, have them walk around the room as they randomly write down ten objects they see. Lastly, put these two lists together!
Learn more: Poetry4kids
7. Personify Your School
This four-page preview packet makes for a great lesson plan on figurative language. It provides many personification examples and explains the difference between metaphors, similes, and hyperboles. End your lesson by having students write a sentence personifying their school.
Learn more: Learn Bright
8. Watch Cowbird Videos
This is one of my favorite resources on personification to cement your lesson objectives, especially if you have a substitute. This 13-slide guide has students watch three short cowbird videos. Instructions are to write all the personification statements they hear. It ends with a short quiz so you can aptly check their understanding.
Learn more: PBS
9. Create a Hands-on Poem
Cut the words from these lists out on two separate colored pieces of paper. Then, have students mix and match the verb with the object. Lastly, have them work with a partner to write a silly poem using at least three of the matches. It doesn’t have to make sense; it just has to be fun!
Learn more: Elephango
10. Make a Word Cloud
Virtual manipulatives provide a nice break from worksheets. Take any object and ask students to personify it using the word cloud generator. Project this onto your screen so students can see what everyone else wrote. Try it again with a new object.
Learn more: Word Cloud
11. Use Pictures
No one wants to do the ninth personification worksheet in your unit on personification. Your personification lesson needs a shake-up! First, have students Google an image they like. Next, get them to write down sentences of personification on strips of paper. Glue it all together for art time during English class!
Learn more: Teaching With a Mountain View
12. Personification Anchor Chart
Anchor charts are a great way for students to refer back to challenging language. Similar to a word wall, anchor charts provide a bit more context and are meant to be posted where students can see them. Even if you cover it up during a test, you’ll find students looking at the poster to remember what it said.
Learn more: Teach Run Create
13. Personification Match Up
Play a game of personification with this fun interactive! Turn this into a personification race as students use the built-in timer to track their speed. Their understanding of personification will be so much better after utilizing fun and engaging pre-made digital activities such as this.
Learn more: Word Wall
Personification practice worksheets might be just the kind of repetition your students need to master their personification skills. Use these statements of personification exactly as is, or cut them out and post them around the room. Have students use a clipboard to record their personification as they move to each sentence.
Learn more: Tutoring Hour