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Understand Personification

In this worksheet, students investigate the use of personification (giving human characteristics to an object, an animal or an idea) in texts that they read.

'Understand Personification' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Understand Structure and Purpose

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Personification means giving human characteristics to an object, an animal or an idea.

 

The pylons marched across the field, clad in their iron armour.

 

Pylons are not alive and cannot move, but by describing them in this way the writer suggests that they are like soldiers.

 

Verbs (doing words) are often used to personify things. In the next example the verb danced has been used to make the stars seem alive.

The stars danced across the sky.

 

Personification is often used in fiction and poetry. In this activity you can read examples of personification.

Look at this example of personification and tick the word that has been used to personify the flowers.

 

The flowers in the vase are begging for water.

flowers

vase

begging

water

Which word has been used to personify the car in this example?

 

The engine coughed and then eventually started.

engine

coughed

eventually

started

Which word has been used to personify the computer in this example?

 

My computer has gone wrong again. It really hates me!

computer

wrong

again

hates

Personification can be used to make things seem either friendly or unfriendly. How does the wind seem in this example?

 

The wind whispered through the trees.

friendly

unfriendly

How does the wind seem this time?

 

The wind howled down the chimney.

friendly

unfriendly

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the rain.

 

The rain kissed Jessie's cheeks as she walked down the empty lane.

The rain was heavy.

The rain was gentle.

The rain was cold.

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the city.

 

The city never slept.

The city was tired.

The city was always busy.

The city was old.

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the air.

 

The frosty air cut through my coat with its sharp nails.

The air was crisp and bright.

The air was painfully cold.

The air was cold but pleasant.

Read this example of personification and decide how you think Nellie is feeling.

 

The stolen necklace glared at Nellie from its hiding place among the buttons.

Nellie is feeling guilty about the stolen necklace.

Nellie is not bothered about the stolen necklace.

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the bicycle.

 

Joe's bicycle groaned as he pedalled his way up the hill.

The bicycle is new and shiny.

The bicycle is very small.

The bicycle is old.

  • Question 1

Look at this example of personification and tick the word that has been used to personify the flowers.

 

The flowers in the vase are begging for water.

CORRECT ANSWER
begging
EDDIE SAYS
Flowers cannot actually beg for water, but by using this verb the writer shows how desperately they need watering.
  • Question 2

Which word has been used to personify the car in this example?

 

The engine coughed and then eventually started.

CORRECT ANSWER
coughed
EDDIE SAYS
An engine cannot cough, but using this verb emphasises how the engine struggled to start.
  • Question 3

Which word has been used to personify the computer in this example?

 

My computer has gone wrong again. It really hates me!

CORRECT ANSWER
hates
EDDIE SAYS
A computer cannot hate anybody, but this example shows how frustrated the speaker is.
  • Question 4

Personification can be used to make things seem either friendly or unfriendly. How does the wind seem in this example?

 

The wind whispered through the trees.

CORRECT ANSWER
friendly
EDDIE SAYS
The use of the verb 'whispered' makes the wind seem gentle and friendly.
  • Question 5

How does the wind seem this time?

 

The wind howled down the chimney.

CORRECT ANSWER
unfriendly
EDDIE SAYS
The verb 'howled' makes the wind seem wild and angry.
  • Question 6

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the rain.

 

The rain kissed Jessie's cheeks as she walked down the empty lane.

CORRECT ANSWER
The rain was gentle.
EDDIE SAYS
By saying that the rain kissed Jessie's cheeks the writer makes us feel that the rain was gentle and pleasant.
  • Question 7

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the city.

 

The city never slept.

CORRECT ANSWER
The city was always busy.
EDDIE SAYS
A city usually has lots of things going on all of the time, the writer is implying through personification that the city does not have time to sleep, it is too busy!
  • Question 8

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the air.

 

The frosty air cut through my coat with its sharp nails.

CORRECT ANSWER
The air was painfully cold.
EDDIE SAYS
If the writer had wanted us to think that the air was pleasant they would not have used the image of sharp nails.
  • Question 9

Read this example of personification and decide how you think Nellie is feeling.

 

The stolen necklace glared at Nellie from its hiding place among the buttons.

CORRECT ANSWER
Nellie is feeling guilty about the stolen necklace.
EDDIE SAYS
The use of the word 'glared' suggests that Nellie might be afraid of being found out. Do you think she is feeling guilty?
  • Question 10

Read this example of personification and decide how the writer wants us to picture the bicycle.

 

Joe's bicycle groaned as he pedalled his way up the hill.

CORRECT ANSWER
The bicycle is old.
EDDIE SAYS
The use of the word 'groaned' makes us think that the bicycle is struggling and so it is probably old.
---- OR ----

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