Review: Firework Figurative Language and Poetic Devices on Teachers Pay Teachers
The Firework figurative language activity, available as a free download on
Teachers Pay Teachers, takes the lyrics to a popular radio hit and has students
analyze them for figurative language and poetic devices. The song, Firework by
Katy Perry, is a well known song by a wildly popular singer-songwriter, and its
lyrics are appropriate for classroom use, especially for the designated range
of seventh grade and higher in the product description.
Firework’s lyrics employ a high degree of figurative
language and poetic devices, and teachers who choose to use this assignment are
free to include as many or as few of these devices as they would like. The
download packet comes with an answer key that shows many of the possible
examples, though as with any poetry interpretation, more are certain to be
found by the teacher and/or the students.
The main feature of the download is the worksheet for
students. It contains a table with each line of the lyrics on the left side and
a space for students to identify each of the assigned literary devices on the
right. The instructions have students mark the lyric on the left and then
identify the device on the right. By presenting a piece of “poetry" in the form
of a popular song, this activity makes learning poetic devices and figurative
language more significant and easier to understand, potentially opening the
door for an appreciation for creative writing in a student who might not
otherwise “get it."
Because this assignment revolves around a piece of pop
culture, there are many opportunities for further extension. The song could be
played during the assignment; deeper metaphor and allusion to other stalwarts
of pop culture might be discussed with older students (such as the implications
of the phrase “house of cards" and a possible references to the film American Beauty)
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.