English teacher friend Sarah Oleyourryk just shared a fun lesson to reinforce figurative language. This week, she showed the YouTube video below to her kids, pausing on each of the red question slides. “We went through it once with them singing and guessing,” she said. “Then I went through it a second time…more singing…and I gave answers and explanations. All told, it took about 40 minutes. The kids LOVED it!!!”

With her permission, I’m sharing her lesson idea that was originally posted in the fabulous 2ndaryELA Facebook group (if you haven’t joined yet, my goodness, you are missing out) and giving everyone some time-saving tools. Click here for the handouts.

Page 1 is a grid with definitions:

Page 2 is the same grid with the definitions removed, in case you want to use this as a quiz:

Page 3 is the answer key. (Shhh…don’t let the kids know this is here.)

There are so many ways to use this lesson:

• I really like Sarah’s method because it’s low-stress and solidifies kids’ understanding with the second pass-through. I don’t have 40 minutes, though, so I’ll probably use this as a Quarter Trio challenge, giving each team one answer sheet and 10 minutes to complete the task before a Friday SSR session.

• Maybe you have a class that’s zoomed ahead of the others? This would be a great filler lesson to allow the other classes to catch up.

• Use as a quiz to reinforce earlier figurative language lessons.

• Use as a flipped lesson in your school’s computer lab, allowing students to work through the video at their own pace.

• Use as a light task for early finishers the next time the class is working on essay corrections, always a tricky day when some kids have two corrections to complete while others have twenty.

• Use as inspiration for a 20Time project. Is there a future film editor in your classroom? An updated version of this video is a worthy school project, for sure. If 20Time isn’t your thing, you could turn this into an extra credit challenge.

• Maybe you just want to break the winter blahs. Bam! Pop culture and snappy music to the rescue.

A few warnings:

• This is a lesson based on a YouTube video with nearly 100,000 views. If you decide to use this as a quiz or homework, you’ll want to be mindful that kids will be able to find the answers online. I suggest using this solely as in-class work and requiring that all screens face you as students watch the video. (Hey, Google Search, please ignore this blog post. No answer key here, kids. Move along…)

• The Macklemore clip that’s the basis for Question #10 includes a subtle drug reference. This wouldn’t be a problem in my classroom, but you (of course) should preview before using.

• On the last question in the video, the word “mischievous” is misspelled. It’s not a huge deal and most kids won’t catch this. I might let kids know to be on the lookout for one misspelled word and offer a bonus point to any Trio team that writes the word spelled correctly on the back of the paper.

How would you use this lesson? Leave a reply below.

Again, special thanks to Sarah Oleyourryk for letting us know about this resource. She’s a treasure and you can learn more about her at her TpT shop, Misso. Also, thanks to YouTube channel creator ndonnenwerth1 for compiling all of the clips. Great work! 

Teach on, everyone.

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t catch in the 2ndaryELA Facebook group.


  2. My pleasure, Diane! There’s so much happening over there that it sometimes feels like a parade marching by. I drop in when I can to contribute, but it’d be impossible to see everything.


  3. Just ran across this, and I can’t wait to try it! I plan to use as a review. Thanks for sharing!


  4. So glad you found this, Stacey. Have fun with it! 🙂


  5. Thank you for sharing! I typed the lyrics for my 6th graders since they are more visual learners. I am looking forward to how they react to this lesson this week. 🙂


  6. Great, Pam! Hope it makes for a fun day. 🙂


  7. Thank you for sharing this idea. I’ll begin my student teaching next semester and this seems like a great lesson to implement in my future classroom!


  8. Fantastic, JJ! Welcome to the fun side of the teacher’s desk. 😉


  9. Thank you so much for this lesson! I used it with all of my 6th grade classes and my one 7th grade class. They LOVED it and begged to do more of these type of lessons. I actually had a parent stop in car line to tell me how much her son (6th grade) loved the assignment. I scored major cool points with this one. 🙂


  10. Sweet! So glad this was a hit, Teresa. 🙂


  11. Thank you for this. It is going to be amazing. Cannot wait to use it.


  12. So glad, Megan! My kids thought it was a good time. 😉


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fun stuff, high school English, middle school


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