In the "Figurative/Poetic/Flowery" exercise, the aim is to re-write the text in a more creative and expressive way, with richer imagery. The aim is to transform the original text and paint a picture with words by using figurative speech and your imagination.
The text comes from real-world examples in books, articles, websites etc.
Of all the exercises, this is the most 'loose' and we are the most free to add our own ideas. Though we are transforming the text, we will keep a sense of the original.
"She was pretty sure he was out of college. She noticed part of a tattoo underneath his sleeve, and he was tall – which she liked. But his beard was a little too long, and his shoulders slumped forward slightly, as though he were protecting something."
There are a number of different ways to be creative. Here is an example:
"She felt that the tone and definition of his face suggested he had already left college. She saw a hint of a tattoo peeking out from under his rolled-up sleeve that drew her interest, and it pleased her that he was tall. She smiled inwardly. She was not a fan of long beards, however. It made her think of a shaggy orangutan. And she observed that his shoulders were slumped over slightly - almost like the wings of a bird protecting its young."
Here is a different style:
"I see you. I wonder what you are?
Would we be friends? Could we connect?
I see some of your personality painted on your arm.
I want to read that story.
Will you read it to me as I look up into your eyes?
So tall… like a tree! I’m intrigued.
Not sure about your beard, though.
It’s so long I could lose my fingers in it.
I’d prefer to caress a smoother face.
Not sure how I feel about that…
What has happened in your life?
I see it in your body.
I see it in your shoulders.
Are they drooping over like a wilted rose?
Or are they clutching and cradling an inner anguish?
I see you. I wonder what you are?"
Figurative speech includes metaphors, idioms and similes - amongst others
For extra creative help, please visit our "Examples of Figurative Speech" page (opens in a separate tab).
You will find 18 different figures of speech with definitions and examples. You might find it helpful for this exercise.
You can submit your work to the comments section just below (click on a speech bubble). The teacher chooses certain pieces to correct, re-write or make comments. Students can too.
The silence was eerie and palpable. It disoriented me, actually. Usually, I would be enshrouded with a cloak of noise woven with the audio fibres of Danny's bird-like warbling or insect-esque humming, as well as the staccato dance of fingers on laptop keyboard. And that's not to mention the whirling, metronomic tinkling of metal against ceramic as he mindlessly swung his spoon around his black coffee! Yes, black coffee. As in, devoid of sugar. In fact, he never took any. Just what he was stirring is anybody's guess!
You can write your own example, if you would like. Just click on the "Speech Bubble" button above. A reply box will open up for you to enter your response.
You'll find all student work and responses for this lesson in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Student work builds a better lesson.
No sign of any fresh food. He hadn't even gone shopping? What was going on? Had something happened at work, delaying him? He'd told me he'd be finishing at lunchtime that day, for once, that he'd have plenty of time to do the supermarket run for a change, save me doing it on Saturday morning as I usually did, while he stayed at home to run the vacuum round and flick a duster over the shelves.
Not a morsel of fresh food was to be found. Zip. Nada! Not so subtle evidence that Danny's shopping trip was incomplete at best. Why the delay? Was there some kind of hold-up at work, or did he simply have his head in the clouds? Sigh... He was supposed to down-tools at lunchtime. It wasn't very often that he was able to do the supermarket dash on a Friday. Normally, I would go shopping on Saturday morning while he did a spot of house cleaning. I was so looking forward to a break!
Click on the "Speech Bubble" button. Your contributions are appreciated.
'Holy cow. It's like looking at brothers. Coincidence, or not? What do you make of that, guy?' Detective Sergeant Devon Clarke glanced over his shoulder. Behind him, Detective Chief Inspector Helena Dickens nodded slowly, indigo eyes fixed on the two photos on the board. 'I dunno. Not yet, anyway. But yes, they do look spookily similar. Weird, eh?'
'Get out of town! It's a man and his doppelganger, if ever I saw it! Surely this is no mere coincidence. Feast your eyes on this guy, detective!' Detective Sergeant Devon Clarke turned his head, seeking validation. At his six, Detective Chief Inspector Helena Dickens confirmed her agreement with a gentle wave of her head. Her indigo eyes nibbling at every detail of the two photos . 'I'm not 100% sure of a coincidence just yet. But they surely do look like they're cut from the same cloth, I can't deny that. It's a real mind-bender!'
Click on the "Speech Bubble" button. We would love your assistance.
When students have submitted work, the teacher will choose examples to show here along with corrections and suggestions.
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