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Narrative Essay About Yourself Examples Of Personification

Language Arts - Grades 3-6

Personification Stories

Students will personify an object and write a story as part of an online book or animated adventure. The story will use conflict, experiences, and situations to help the viewer imagine what it might be like to be a particular object.

Apps: Wixie®, Pixie®, Frames, or Share

Task

Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle…Personification is a figure of speech in which human qualities are given to objects, animals, or ideas. For example: the fire breathed hot in our faces and its flames grabbed at our clothes, or the chocolate cake is calling my name. Personification can make your writing much more interesting.

In this project, you will personify an animal or object and develop your story into an online book or animated cartoon.

Engage

Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fables, and children‘s stories commonly personify animals. When you give human characteristics to animals, it is called anthropomorphism. Your students have probably heard of the three bears that eat porridge and sleep in their beds or the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. You may have even read Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.

Revisit these stories or others your students may be familiar with. You might also want to share the work of Lewis Carroll in his poem The Walrus and the Carpenter or The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. Remember the white rabbit and Alice playing croquet with a deck of cards?

After exploring examples of personification, work with your students to personify an object in your classroom. Brainstorm human traits that can be applied to it. Start by identifying parts of it that are similar to human body parts. Then, brainstorm feelings it might have about itself or how it is used. Ask students to become the object and answer these prompting questions:

  • What/how do you see?
  • What/how do you hear?
  • Where do you live?
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What do you dream of?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you hate to do?
  • How do you feel about the people or objects you meet?

Create

Have individual students, or a small team, choose an object to personify. Ask students to brainstorm ways to personify the object. You might ask them to answer the same questions you did as a class.

Students should use the object‘s feelings or fears they have brainstormed to develop the conflict that will drive their story and begin writing. You may have them scaffold work or continue brainstorming by identifying character traits, determining setting, and codifying the plot diagram or at minimum beginning, middle, and end. Have students share their ideas and drafts with their peers for feedback and review and then work on their revisions.

Choose the type of product you want students to create, such as a printed book, interactive story, cartoon animation, claymation video, or better yet, allow them to choose the product they believe will most effectively convey their story.

Have students translate their written story into a visual map or project storyboard. This will help them determine how best to convey the story through individual pages or scenes. Have students create an illustration of the object, or build a tangible character from modeling clay or other materials.

Explore more samples and ideas for incorporating technology into the curriculum.

Students can capture still images for stopmotion, create pages that combine text, illustration, and narration, or take video to build their story.

Share

Have the students present their story or animated short to the rest of the class. Share the stories and animations on your school web site, during morning announcements, or in your school/community library. You may also be able to share them on your local access television station as a celebration of student learning.

You could even turn this project into a parent night or community event by asking students to write personification stories along a conservation theme like Earth Day.

Assessment

After you have read and shared examples of personification, you can begin assessing student understanding as the entire class works together to personify an object.

Use the brainstorm and written story to assess a student's ability to personify. You will also want to check in with individuals or listen to each group's process to help you evaluate their skill at identifying character, setting, and plot, as well as how creativity they have personified the object.

The final stories and animation will help you evaluate how well students are able to translate their brainstormed traits and emotions into effectively personifying the object.

Resources

Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter

Lewis Carroll, Alice‘s Adventures in Wonderland

Emily Dickinson, The Train

Standards

Common Core Standards for for English Language Arts - Grade 6

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.5

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.5.A

Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

Common Core Anchor Standards for for English Language Arts - Grades K-6

Literacy Theme

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

5. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

Reading Theme

Craft and Structure

4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Writing Theme

Production and Distribution of Writing

4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Range of Writing

10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences

Speaking and Listening Theme

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Language Theme

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

5a. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

ISTE NETS for Students 2016:

6. Creative Communicator
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. Students:

a. choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.

b. create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

c. communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

d. publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

What can your students create?

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Definition of Personification

Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing – an idea or an animal – is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. For example, when we say, “The sky weeps,” we are giving the sky the ability to cry, which is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given sentence.

Common Examples of Personification

  1. Look at my car. She is a beauty, isn’t she?
  2. The wind whispered through dry grass.
  3. The flowers danced in the gentle breeze.
  4. Time and tide wait for none.
  5. The fire swallowed the entire forest.

We see from the above examples of personification that this literary device helps us relate actions of inanimate objects to our own emotions.

Short Examples of Personification in Speech

  1. The shadow of the moon danced on the lake.
  2. There was a heavy thunderstorm, the wind snorted outside, rattling my windowpanes.
  3. The flowers were blooming, and the bees kissed them every now and then.
  4. The flood raged over the entire village.
  5. The tread of time is so ruthless that it tramples even the kings under its feet.
  6. It was early morning – I met a cat yawning and stretching in the street.
  7. The skyscraper was so tall that it seemed to kiss the sky.
  8. The tree was pulled down, and the birds lamented over its dead body.
  9. The tall pines in the hilly area fondled the clouds.
  10. The long road to his home was a twisting snake, with no visible end.
  11. The full moon peeped through partial clouds.
  12. His car suffered a severe stroke in the middle of the road, and refused to move forward.
  13. The ship danced over the undulating waves of the ocean.
  14. When he sat the test, the words and the ideas fled from his mind.
  15. When he came out of the house of his deceased friend, everything looked to him to be weeping.

Examples of Personification in Literature

Example #1: The Green Gables Letters (By L. M. Montgomery)

“I hied me away to the woods — away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. The woods are getting ready to sleep — they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good-nights.”

The lack of activity in the forest has been beautifully personified as the forest getting ready to sleep, busy at bed-time chatting and wishing good-nights, all of which are human customs.

Example #2: Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene II (By William Shakespeare)

“When well-appareled April on the heel
Of limping winter treads.”

There are two personification examples here. April cannot put on a dress, and winter does not limp, nor does it have a heel on which a month can walk. Shakespeare personifies the month of April and the winter season by giving them two distinct human qualities.

Example #3: Loveliest of Trees the Cherry Now (By A. H. Houseman)

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.”

He sees a cherry tree covered with beautiful white flowers in the forest, and says that the cherry tree wears white clothes to celebrate Easter. He gives human attributes to a tree in order to describe it in human terms.

Example #4: Have You Got A Brook In Your Little Heart (By Emily Elizabeth Dickinson)

“Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?”

The bashful flowers, blushing birds, and trembling shadows are examples of personification.

Example #5: How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped (By William Shakespeare)

“Pearl Button swung on the little gate in front of the House of Boxes. It was the early afternoon of a sunshiny day with little winds playing hide-and-seek in it.”

It personifies wind by saying that it is as playful as little children playing hide-and-seek on a sunny day.

Example #6: Two Sunflowers Move in a Yellow Room (By William Blake)

“Two Sunflowers
Move in the Yellow Room.
‘Ah, William, we’re weary of weather,’
said the sunflowers, shining with dew.
Our traveling habits have tired us.
Can you give us a room with a view?”

This poem by William Blake contains a lot of examples of personification. The poem starts in a dialogue form, where a sunflower is directly addressing the poet by calling his name. Again, in the third line the flower says, “our travelling habits have tired us”, which is a good personification. The flowers are depicting a human characteristic of weariness caused by the weather. In a human way, they make a request to the poet to put them in a room with a window with plenty of sunshine.

Example #7: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (By William Wordsworth)

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

This poem by William Wordsworth contains artistic examples of personification. The fourth line says, “A host of golden daffodils,” and the fifth line has those flowers “Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

Example #8: The Waste Land (By T. S. ELIOT)

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.”

These are the opening lines of The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot. The very first line contains personification in that it labels April as the cruelest month’.

Example #9: Because I could not stop for Death (By Emily Dickinson)

“Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –”

The whole poem is full of examples of personification. In fact, death has been personified by the poet, saying “He kindly stopped for me.” Again in the second stanza, “He knew no haste,” and so on.

Function of Personification

Personification is not merely a decorative device, but serves the purpose of giving deeper meanings to literary texts. It adds vividness to expressions, as we always look at the world from a human perspective. Writers and poets rely on personification to bring inanimate things to life, so that their nature and actions are understood in a better way. Because it is easier for us to relate to something that is human, or which possesses human traits, its use encourages us to develop a perspective that is new as well as creative.

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