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Teaching Figurative Language in 2015

As I drive MJ and Ian around town, or drive the four blocks to work, I always have the radio on. The Language Arts teacher in me hears the figurative language, and if the kids are in the car…I have to shout it out.

I will admit, it is incredibly hard finding lyrics that are school appropriate.  I get nervous every time a student asks me to play a song.

So, nothing fancy, but what I did for you is pull a stanza or so from a dozen songs and posted them here. This could easily be copied into a worksheet, or you could post it on the board for students to identify the figurative language.

Sledgehammer by Fifth Harmony

If you could take my pulse right now
It would feel just like a sledgehammer
If you could feel my heart beat now
It would hit you like a sledgehammer

Blank Space by Taylor Swift

New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny rumors fly
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends

Dark Horse by Katy Perry

So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for
Baby do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse
Are you ready for, ready for
A perfect storm, perfect storm
Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine
There’s no going back

Charli XCX – Boom Clap

No silver or no gold
Could dress me up so good
You’re the glitter in the darkness of my world
Just tell me what to do
I’ll fall right into you
Going under cast a spell just say the word
I feel your love

Ariana Grande – Break Free

I only wanna die alive
Never by the hands of a broken heart
Don’t wanna hear you lie tonight
Now that I’ve become who I really are

Magic! – Rude

Saturday morning jumped out of bed and put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet, all the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old fashioned man yeah yeah

Clean Bandit – Rather Be

We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be
I would wait forever, exalted in the scene
As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat

One Direction – Steal My Girl

I don’t exist
If I don’t have her
The sun doesn’t shine,
The world doesn’t turn,
Alright (alright)

But I know, I know, I know for sure

Everybody wanna steal my girl
Everybody wanna take her heart away
Couple billion in the whole wide world
Find another one ’cause she belongs to me

One Republic – I Lived

Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises
You build a wall

Hope when the crowd screams out
They’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay

Hope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
Is give it all you have

And I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes
You’ll say…

Taylor Swift – Out of Style

Cause You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time.
Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style

Vance Joy – Riptide

I was scared of dentists and the dark
I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations
Oh, all my friends are turning green
You’re the magician’s assistant in their dreams

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you’re singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat because
You’re gonna sing the words wrong

American Authors – Best Day of My Life

I had a dream so big and loud
I jumped so high I touched the clouds
Wo-o-o-o-o-oh, wo-o-o-o-o-oh
I stretched my hands out to the sky
We danced with monsters through the night
Wo-o-o-o-o-oh, wo-o-o-o-o-oh

MKTO – Classic

Ooh girl you’re shining
Like a 5th avenue diamond
And they don’t make you like they used to
You’re never going out of style

Related Posts:
Teaching Figurative Language in 2014
Figurative Language in Pop Songs
Teaching Figurative Language with Media

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2 responses

  1. Amazing timing! I just finished a lesson plan on word choice using the lyrics to “Roar” and “Happy”. These fit in perfectly!

    1. Oh yes, those are two good positive songs to include! Glad you can use these too!

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