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)

You can download your own copy of the Firework Figurative Language activity here.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

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 and Facebook.
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