Mentor Texts for Teaching Figurative Language

Figurative language is so much fun to teach and there are so many picture books that have some great examples on their pages!

I gathered some of my favorite mentor texts to teach seven different types of figurative language.

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Here they are:

1. Idioms

Idioms are common phrases that mean something different than what they say. For example, it’s raining cats and dogs, or his eyes were bigger than his stomach.

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries


The Cat’s Pajamas

There’s a Frog in My Throat

Raining Cats and Dogs

My Momma Likes to Say

The World is Your Oyster

Reach the Stars

Butterflies in My Stomach


2. Similes

Similes compare two different things using words such as like or as. For example, she is as graceful as a swan or he is cuddly like a bear.


My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

Muddy as a Duck Puddle and Other American Similes

Quick as a Cricket

Dangerously Ever After

My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil

Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story

The Whole Wide World and Me

Seashells: More Than a Home

figurative language anchor chart

3. Metaphors

Metaphors compare two things using the words is or are. For example, my pillow is a rock or my grandma is a creampuff.

My Mouth is a Volcano

Two Bad Ants

My School’s a Zoo


The Ocean Is…

Black is a Rainbow Color

Skin Like Milk, Hair of Silk

I Am Peace



4. Hyperbole

Hyperbole describes something in an extremely exaggerated way. Tall tales are filled with them. Examples of hyperbole include, I was waiting in line for hours or We’ve seen that movie a million times!

Paul Bunyan

Swamp Angel

Thunder Rose

Dona Flor

American Tall Tales

John Henry

Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett

Pecos Bill

Library Lil


Need a print & digital figurative language unit? Click here or tap the picture to check it out! 

Figurative Language for Upper elementary

5. Personification

Personification is when nonhumans are described using human qualities. For example, The sun kissed my cheek, or The angry storm raged against the house.


What Do You Do With a Chance

The Night Box

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors



The Dark

Orion and the Dark

Twilight Comes Twice


6. Alliteration

Alliterations are phrases or sentences that start with the same letter or sound. For example, Millie Monkey Made Marvelous Muffins Monday or Brandon Brown bought billions of baseballs.

Fun on Farley’s Family Farm in Finleyville

Some Smug Slug

Amazing Animal Actions: Alliterations A – Z

Clara Caterpillar

Crocodile Listens

Betty’s Burgled Bakery

The Spaghetti-Slurping Sewer Serpent

The Great Fuzz Frenzy

The Worrywarts


7. Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is so much fun to say (and to try to spell!). Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like the noise it makes. For example, bees buzz, bells clang, and engines whirr.

Crunch and Crack, Oink and Whack!

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type


Little Wolf’s First Howling


Squeak, Rumble, Whomp, Whomp, Whomp

Cat Says Meow

When Papa Snores


If you’re looking for some Figurative Language resources, I’d love for you to check these out:

Figurative Language Set for 4th and 5th Grades

Idioms Bundle (3 sets for a total of 96 task cards)

Similes Grammar Game (Tic-tac-toe Game)

Similes Grammar Game (Board Game)

Metaphors Game (Matching cards – Birdie themed)

Metaphors Game (Matching cards – Safari Themed)

Idioms, Adages, and Proverbs Game


This digital reading unit works well in Google Classroom or PowerPoint.

Figurative Language Reading Unit for 5th Grade


Here’s a FREE set of 10 Figurative Language Posters! Click here to download the free poster set.

Free Figurative Language Posters


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