Monday, August 20, 2012

Figuratively Speaking: Literary Excerpts

I plan for us to use this workbook to learn new literary terms and review the ones kiddo already knows. We are going at our own pace with this and may use our own sequence instead of the suggested order.

I am bookmarking links to the miscellaneous poems and texts peppered throughout the book, knowing that my curious guy will not be satisfied with reading only the excerpts. We'll probably only choose a few of the original versions to read. Longer works have not been bookmarked -- I will either use the excerpt in the workbook or check out the paperback versions if he wants me to.
  1. Denotation and Connotation: Autumn Within by Longfellow, The Rainy Day by Longfellow, Something by Hans Christian Andersen, and Home by Edgar A. Guest
  2. Hyperbole: One version of Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill Rides a Tornado retold, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain, Birth of Paul Bunyan retold, Flying Fish and other Dave Barry articles
  3. Idiom: A Story Without an End by Mark Twain, and an online idioms resource
  4. Imagery: The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, a nature poem (I couldn't resist linking my favorite...The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy), and a painting to describe
  5. Metaphor and Simile: Taking Leave of a Friend by Li Po (scroll to bottom of the page), Jazz Fantasia by Carl Sandburg, She Sweeps With Many-Colored Brooms by Emily Dickinson, A Forest Hymn by William Cullen Bryant, Song of the Sky Loom (a Tewa traditional poem), Thirty-Five by Sarah Josepha Hale (I'm not able to find this one!), and Winter Dreams by Fitzgerald
  6. Oxymoron and Paradox: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  7. Personification: The Mice in Council by Aesop, Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Grass So Little Has To Do by Emily Dickinson
  8. Symbol: Mending Wall by Robert Frost, Beauty and the Beast, and Rose Symbolism (Wikipedia)
  9. Alliteration: The Ruin (from a blog post and includes interesting explanation), and because we love this device, purely for fun...Amusing Alliteration, and other examples
  10. Assonance and Consonance: The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe, The Hayloft by Robert Louis Stevenson, I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing by Walt Whitman, The Chambered Nautilus by Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Arsenal at Springfield by Longfellow, Concord Hymn by Emerson, Ode on the Confederate Dead by Henry Timrod, Beat! Beat! Drums by Walt Whitman, There is a Solitude of Space by Emily Dickinson, Hampton Beach by Whittier, The First Snowfall by James Russell Lowell, The Marshes of Glynn by Sidney Lanier, The Outcast of Poker Flats by Bret Harte, War is Kind by Stephen Crane, Upon the Burning of Our House by Anne Bradstreet, Preface to God's Determinations by Edward Taylor
  11. Form: A selection of haiku poems by Matsuo Basho, cinquains explained, a few limericks by Lear, a Skeltonic verse idea, catalog poetry, picture poems, and free verse
  12. Onomatopoeia (oh joy!): The Princess by Tennyson, Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton, The Congo by Vachel Lindsay, The Sound of the Sea by Longfellow, and Canto First by Shelley
  13. Parallelism: Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
  14. Repetition and Refrain: The Open Boat and Do Not Weep Maiden, for War is Kind by Stephen Crane, and Good Night Irene
  15. Rhyme: The Duel by Eugene Field, The Blessed Damozel by Dante Rossetti, and An Alphabet of Famous Goops by Gelett Burgess
  16. Rhythm: Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant, Sea Fever by John Masefield, Recessional by Rudyard Kipling, There Is No Frigate Like a Book by Emily Dickinson, Preludes by T.S. Eliot, and Song of the Redwood Tree by Walt Whitman
  17. Run-on and End-stopped Lines: The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls by Longfellow, and Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson
  18. Stanza: Trees by Joyce Kilmer, Be Strong by Maltbie Davenport Babcock, My Kate by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Ode to the West Wind by Percy Shelley
  19. Allusion: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  20. Characters and Characterization: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  21. Conflict: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  22. Dialect: A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns, and On Top of Spaghetti
  23. Dialogue: At Last by James Whitcomb Riley, and short story selections at Classic Shorts (specifically for this lesson I suggest A Telephonic Conversation by Mark Twain)
  24. Flashback: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  25. Foreshadowing: Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and Cinderella
  26. Genre: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  27. Irony: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  28. Local Color: short story selections at Classic Shorts
  29. Mood and Tone: The Raven by Poe
  30. Moral and Theme: The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Aesop
  31. Narrator/ Point of View: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  32. Plot: The Lady, or the Tiger? by Frank Stockton, and The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell.
  33. Poetic License: Mannahatta by Walt Whitman, and an e.e. cummings biography
  34. Pun: Hymn to God the Father by John Donne
  35. Rhetorical Question: The excerpts in the workbook will be sufficient for our study
  36. Satire, Parody, and Farce: L'Art by Ezra Pound, and Jurassic Park by Weird Al
  37. Story Within a Story: The Storyteller by Saki, and The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and A Story Without an End by Mark Twain
  38. Stream of Consciousness: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
  39. Surprise Ending: The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, The Gift of the Magi and Hearts and Hands by
    O. Henry, An Inhabitant of Carcosa by Ambrose Bierce, and for The Third Level and The Face in the Photo by Jack Finney, there's this affordable copy of About Time.
  40. Suspense: The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacob and Moxon's Master by Ambrose Bierce
Links are active at the time this post was composed.


  1. Nature Poems

    Picnics poetry offers a lot of beautiful nature poems so if you want to write your own words you have a lot of sources of inspiration to choose from.

  2. I love this list, Suji! What a great overview of terms! Thanks!

  3. I've heard great things about this book over at the Well Trained Mind. It sounds like your son will have a wonderful time studying all those literary terms!

  4. Thanks! I just ordered this book at amazon, and another with writing prompts that you recommended a while ago (I searched the archives to find it). And I'm just about to send a link here to an old friend from college who is thinking about homeschooling. I hope you realize what a valuable resource you've been creating for people who lean towards child-led learning but don't want to go all the way to radical unschooling. (not sure exactly how to word that difference)

  5. Thanks so much for the suggestions and kind words! Stephanie, thank you! I am always lost to find the words for what we do. It's not exactly unschooling and it's not exactly structured or even parent-driven although there are times when we hit both extremes squarely in the eye if there's a need. I've heard someone call something similar "structured unschooling". Eclectic structured, has a crazy ring to it eh?

  6. This is fantastic list, I'm bookmarking for future ref. I don't comment too often, but I have gotten tons of ideas from your blog. Its amazing how generously you share little tidbits and not so little tidbits, that're so so useful to so many! Thankyou.

  7. Thanks Arthi! Glad it's helpful!


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