When I explain imagery to kids, I tell them it’s how an author uses words or phrases to help us not only see what we are reading, but hear, feel, taste, or smell it.  Imagery is accomplished best when an author shows instead of tells the reader something.  For example, “the rain played a song on my umbrella” helps the reader to hear the rain falling.  The author could have told the reader by saying, “the rain fell on my umbrella”, but he chooses to show it by appealing to our sense of hearing. 

Within the study of imagery, I like to also study figurative language.  Figurative language includes imagery, metaphors, similes, personification, hyperboles, etc.  All those things we’ve forgotten since high school!  My goal with figurative language is that the reader would not only to be able to spot it, but be able to critique it as well.  For example, I want to equip the reader to explain why comparing a beetle to a shiny, well waxed car would be an appropriate metaphor.  I want him to be able to think of other appropriate metaphors as well.  As the reader is exposed to different texts, I want him to think critically about how the author uses words to portray a message to the reader.


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