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Understand How Authors Use Language

In this worksheet, students will explore author's use of language. They will be asked to consider different writing devices and techniques.

'Understand How Authors Use Language' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Discuss Author Language

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In your writing, you can use literal or figurative language. What's the difference between the two?

 

Literal Language:

Literal language is obvious language that is plainly stated and is often found in non-fiction texts.

Literal language means exactly what it says!

For example: 'the grass looks green'.

 

Figurative language:

Figurative language is more commonly used in fictional writing.

It will add extra detail, depth and meaning to a sentence.

There are many forms of figurative language that you can use in your writing, let's recap some now.

 

Simile

A simile is when you compare one thing to another using 'like' or 'as'.

For example:

'The mixture is as sticky as chewing gum.'

'He moves like a dancer.'

 

Metaphor

A metaphor is when one thing is compared to another.

For example:

'She is an angel.'

'Her tears were a river flowing down her cheeks.'

 

Personification

Personification is when inanimate (not moving/living) objects are given the qualities or actions of a living person or creature.

For example:

'Time flew and before we knew it, it was time to start secondary school.'

'The popcorn leapt out of the bowl.'

 

Pathetic fallacy

The pathetic fallacy is similar to personification but is used with reference to nature.

For example:

'An angry storm.'

'The stars waltzed in the moonlit sky.'

 

Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds near each other.

For example:

'Sheep should sleep in a shed.'

'Penny planted peonies in the pot.'

 

Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia means a word that sounds like the common sound of the object it is describing. 

For example:

'Plop went the rubber duck into the bath.'

'The train called, "choo, choo!"'

 

Oxymoron

Oxymoron are words close together that have the opposite meaning.

For example:

'The living dead.'

'We're alone together.'

 

Hyperbole

Hyperbole is when exaggeration is used in writing for effect.

For example:

'The shopping cost me a million pounds!'

 

In this activity, you will answer a range of questions based on the devices above.

Is this a simile, a metaphor or personification?

 

'The beaming sun was a golden, glistening ball in the bright sky.'

 SimileMetaphorPersonification
What type of device is used in the sentence?

Is this a simile, a metaphor or personification?

 

'She won the race, she ran as fast as lightning.'

 SimileMetaphorPersonification
What type of device is used in the sentence?

Is this a simile, a metaphor or personification?

 

'The entwined vines clung onto the boy, refusing to let go.'

 SimileMetaphorPersonification
What type of device is used in the sentence?

Look at the list of words below. One of the words is an example of onomatopoeia.

 

Can you type the onomatopoeia into the box below?

 

cook

talk     

move     

speak     

sizzle

Read the sentence below carefully.

 

'The snake slithers silently across the sun-scorched sand.'

 

Type one of the alliterative words into the box below.

Read through the sentences below carefully.

 

Can you choose the example of the pathetic fallacy?

The ruined house seemed depressed

She is a star

The air smells as fresh as clean washing

Around the house, whipped a cruel wind

Read the sentence below carefully.

 

The sombre clouds darkened our mood.

 

Is this an example of personification or the pathetic fallacy?

Pathetic fallacy

Personification

Below are some examples of language devices we can use in our writing.

 

Can you choose the example of hyperbole?

 

His hair was as golden as the sun

She is such a cheetah when she sprints down the track

Sheep should sleep in a shed

I've told you a million times to clean your room!

Can you match each form of language device with its correct name?

Column A

Column B

Jamie heard the last piece of cake calling his nam...
Pathetic fallacy
Threatening clouds =
Alliteration
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers =
Personification
He was a tornado, easily blasting through the oppo...
Metaphor

Jenny stood as still as a statue, her ears strained to hear some form of life, a reassuring sound.

No such luck, she was surrounded by deafening silence.

 

In the short passage above, can you find the example of an oxymoron and type it into the box below?

 

  • Question 1

Is this a simile, a metaphor or personification?

 

'The beaming sun was a golden, glistening ball in the bright sky.'

CORRECT ANSWER
 SimileMetaphorPersonification
What type of device is used in the sentence?
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find the first question? This sentence is a metaphor, remember that a metaphor says that something is something else.
  • Question 2

Is this a simile, a metaphor or personification?

 

'She won the race, she ran as fast as lightning.'

CORRECT ANSWER
 SimileMetaphorPersonification
What type of device is used in the sentence?
EDDIE SAYS
This sentence is a simile as it compares one thing to something else using 'as'. A simile can use 'as' or 'like' to compare.
  • Question 3

Is this a simile, a metaphor or personification?

 

'The entwined vines clung onto the boy, refusing to let go.'

CORRECT ANSWER
 SimileMetaphorPersonification
What type of device is used in the sentence?
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on this time? This sentence uses personification, remember personification gives human-like features to an object. In this case, the object is entwined vines. You’re making great progress!
  • Question 4

Look at the list of words below. One of the words is an example of onomatopoeia.

 

Can you type the onomatopoeia into the box below?

 

cook

talk     

move     

speak     

sizzle

CORRECT ANSWER
sizzle
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember that onomatopoeia adds a sound dimension to text? Onomatopoeia adds impact to what the reader has just read.
  • Question 5

Read the sentence below carefully.

 

'The snake slithers silently across the sun-scorched sand.'

 

Type one of the alliterative words into the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
snake
slithers
silently
sun-scorched
sand
sun scorched
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? Remember that alliteration helps to connect words together. It occurs when the same letter or sound are present at the beginning of closely connected or adjacent words. Alliteration adds emphasis and often conveys some feeling and mood through the piece of writing.
  • Question 6

Read through the sentences below carefully.

 

Can you choose the example of the pathetic fallacy?

CORRECT ANSWER
Around the house, whipped a cruel wind
EDDIE SAYS
The example of the pathetic fallacy is; 'Around the house, whipped a cruel wind'. The wind has been described as 'cruel', this has been done to reflect the atmosphere and convey rising tension through the writing. Are you feeling more confident?
  • Question 7

Read the sentence below carefully.

 

The sombre clouds darkened our mood.

 

Is this an example of personification or the pathetic fallacy?

CORRECT ANSWER
Pathetic fallacy
EDDIE SAYS
This sentence is an example of the pathetic fallacy as human attributes (feeling sombre) are given to nature. This then conveys a dark tone.
  • Question 8

Below are some examples of language devices we can use in our writing.

 

Can you choose the example of hyperbole?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
I've told you a million times to clean your room!
EDDIE SAYS
The example of hyperbole is, 'I've told you a million times to clean your room!' Remember that hyperbole is an exaggerated claim or statement that should not be taken literally.
  • Question 9

Can you match each form of language device with its correct name?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Jamie heard the last piece of cak...
Personification
Threatening clouds =
Pathetic fallacy
Peter Piper picked a peck of pick...
Alliteration
He was a tornado, easily blasting...
Metaphor
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? There was a lot to remember, however, if you can get used to including these devices, you will see a huge improvement in the quality of your writing.
  • Question 10

Jenny stood as still as a statue, her ears strained to hear some form of life, a reassuring sound.

No such luck, she was surrounded by deafening silence.

 

In the short passage above, can you find the example of an oxymoron and type it into the box below?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Deafening silence
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this final question? The example of an oxymoron within the passage is 'deafening silence'. Remember that an oxymoron is a phrase made of two or more words that have opposite meanings. Great focus! That’s another activity completed.
Try it ---- OR ----

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