- Improve the ability to understand and use figurative language in oral and written communication
- Understand communication intent
- Improve social interaction
Students with ASD and other language disorders misunderstand the communication intent of their peers which often leads to social segregation. The lessons in Word Feast Middle School for Figurative Language give your students access to understanding and using figurative language in their communication.
Based on best-practice techniques, each lesson centers on a theme and includes:
- targeted figures of speech
- teaching tips
- prior knowledge activation questions
- controlled-level, context-rich, and often hysterically funny reading passages
- teaching activities that include interesting facts about the history of the phrase
- a list of student-friendly meanings that include usage tips and correct/incorrect usage examples
- answer key
Lesson themes include On the Job, Fashion and Clothing, Music, Team Sports, Money, Nature, Fun and Games, and many others.
Give your students the language power they need to banter with their peers, write colorfully, and end their feeling of social isolation with Word Feast Middle School for Figurative Language.
Copyright © 2013
The research base for specific forms of figurative language comprehension and usage is sparse, but "metaphor" and "metaphoric language" have been explored to some depth. The types of figurative language presented in this book can be classified under the general umbrella of metaphor, and the evidence under that label is relevant to the series.
- Vocabulary knowledge is strongly correlated to reading comprehension proficiency and school achievement. Children who start school with poorly developed vocabulary skills will, without robust instruction, remain academically behind their peers (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
- Reynolds and Ortony (1980) investigated the comprehension of similes and metaphors by second- through sixth-grade typical children. They found evidence of an ability to understand figurative language by children at all grade levels when adequate contextual supports were provided (Seidenberg & Bernstein, 1986).
- Many learning-disabled children appear to have the requisite abilities and strategies for metaphoric comprehension in their cognitive repertoires but fail to spontaneously and appropriately access and apply them when they should . . . learning-disabled children often fail to spontaneously identify the need to use appropriate, cognitive processing strategies that are well within their cognitive competence (Seidenberg & Bernstein, 1986).
- Metaphoric competence reflects an individual's cognitive level, abstract reasoning ability, and linguistic competence. The likelihood of [identifying] nonliteral responses [in figurative contexts] depends primarily on these competencies but is also influenced by an individual's familiarity with the specific figurative forms being studied (Lee & Kamhi, 1990).
- The ability to understand the motives and intentions of others is essential. Assisting children with ASDs to decode figurative language may improve their social skills in relating to others (Mackay & Shaw, 2004).
- Understanding a speaker's communicative intention is a central goal of communication and involves going beyond the literal meaning of an utterance. Children who do not understand these intentions have major communicative difficulties. Often, they are rejected by their peers, further reducing opportunities for interaction. Perhaps they struggle on with their frustration and confusion unnoticed, as the people around them continue to use figurative language. Our closer attention to the specifics of their difficulties should help them when they try to work out the meanings and intentions in the figurative language of their communicative partners (Mackay & Shaw, 2004).
Word Feast Middle School for Figurative Language incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Lee, R.F., & Kamhi, A.G. (1990). Metaphoric competence in children with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23(8), 476-482.
Mackay, G., & Shaw, A. (2004). A comparative study of figurative language in children with autistic spectrum disorders. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 20(1), 13-32. doi: 10.1191/0265659004ct261oa
Reynolds, R.E., & Ortony, A. (1980). Some issues in the measurement of children's comprehension of metaphorical language. Child Development, 51, 1110-1119.
Seidenberg, P.L., & Bernstein, D.K. (1986). The comprehension of similes and metaphors by learning disabled and nonlearning-disabled children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 17, 219-229.