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Home >> Lesson Plans >> Lesson Plan: Literal and Nonliteral Language - Amelia Bedelia

Lesson Plan: Literal and Nonliteral Language - Amelia

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Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 3

Lesson Objective: To understand and identify literal and nonliteral language in a story

Common Core Standard:  :  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.4:  Determine the meaning of words and

phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.


Printable Paragraph Student Handout



Have you ever heard someone way something like, “I could eat a horse,” or “I slept like
a log?”  Did you understand what they meant?  (Allow the students to answer.)



There are two types of words and phrases.  One is called literal language, which
means that you say exactly what you mean.  Examples of literal language are, “I am
very hungry” and “I slept really well last night.”

The other type of words or phrases are called nonliteral or gurative language.  This
means that you use di erent words to say what you mean.  Instead of staying “I am
very hungry,” you would say, “I could eat a horse.”  Both phrases mean that you are
hungry, but the make di erent pictures in your head when you hear them.
By saying, “I could eat a horse,” you are making the person you are talking to
understand just how hungry you are when they imagine you eating a whole horse.

Another example is “I slept really well last night,” and “I slept like a log.”  Which phrase
give you a better picture in your head of what happened?  (Allow the students to

The phrase, “I slept like a log,” helps you to imagine someone sleeping so well that
they didn’t move at all.
Can you think of any nonliteral language that you have heard or used?  (Allow the
students to answer.  Make a list on the board of their responses.)

You are now going to read part of the book, Thank You, Amelia Bedelia.  While you
are reading, I want you to think about any nonliteral language that you are reading
and what it means.
Then, you will write the answers to the questions that are below the story.

Does anyone have any questions?



Who would like to share their answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers
and where they came from.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional
materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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