Activities to Teach Students to Classify the Figures of Speech: Anaphora, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Assonance, Chiasmus, Understatement

Figures of speech are an essential part of language and literature. They are used to express ideas in a way that adds depth and meaning to the text. However, understanding figures of speech can be challenging for some students. As a teacher, there are several activities you can use to teach students to classify the figures of speech. In this article, we will discuss six different figures of speech: anaphora, antithesis, apostrophe, assonance, chiasmus, and understatement.

1. Anaphora:


Anaphora is the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences, which helps to emphasize a particular idea or theme. To teach anaphora, you can create a list of sentences or excerpts from books that demonstrate this figure of speech. Ask your students to identify the repeated words or phrases and explain how they contribute to the overall meaning of the text. You can also have students write their own examples of anaphora.

2. Antithesis:

Antithesis is a rhetorical device that involves contrasting ideas or words in parallel structures. To teach antithesis, provide examples of contrasting ideas or words and have students identify the parallel structure. You can also have students create their own examples of antithesis by thinking of contrasting ideas and putting them into parallel structures.

3. Apostrophe:

Apostrophe is a figure of speech where the speaker addresses something that is not present or cannot respond, such as an animal, idea, or personification. To teach apostrophe, provide examples of this figure of speech and have students identify the speaker, the thing being addressed, and the effect of the apostrophe. You can also have students write their own examples of apostrophe by addressing something that is not present or cannot respond.

4. Assonance:

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds within words. To teach assonance, provide examples of this figure of speech and have students identify the repeated vowel sounds. You can also have students create their own examples of assonance by thinking of words that have repeated vowel sounds.

5. Chiasmus:

Chiasmus is a figure of speech where the order of words or ideas is reversed in the second clause or phrase. To teach chiasmus, provide examples of this figure of speech and have students identify the reversed structure. You can also have students write their own examples of chiasmus by thinking of two contrasting ideas and reversing the order in the second clause or phrase.

6. Understatement:

Understatement is a figure of speech where the speaker intentionally makes something seem less important or significant than it really is. To teach understatement, provide examples of this figure of speech and have students identify how the speaker is downplaying the importance of something. You can also have students write their own examples of understatement.

In conclusion, teaching students to classify figures of speech involves providing examples and having students identify the key elements of each figure of speech. By using the activities outlined above, you can help your students to better understand and appreciate the use of figures of speech in language and literature.     

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