The Elements Of Interesting Writing

It can be hard to come up with ideas to help students develop their writing. We all know simile and metaphor. I know the meaning of (ironically difficult to pronounce) onomatopoeia. But what are some other ways we can manipulate language in a piece of writing. Curtis Newbold, the Visual Communication Guy, has created the Periodic Table of the Figures of Speech.

Infographic_PeriodicTableFiguresOfSpeech3

The allusion to the scientific table of the elements was enough to draw my attention, but the chart does a good job of succinctly describing 40 different ways to use English. While ‘elements’ like Polyptoton (repetition of words derived from the same root) and Antanaclasis (repetition of a word with two different definitions) may seem a little heavy for grade-schoolers, the function of the figure of speech is usually quite simple. Each one could be the focus of a mini-lesson, at least. Furthermore, if a student is particularly keen to vary the way they write, they can simply consult the table and get ideas, ideas that are at the heart of great writing. (Anadiplosis: Repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause.)

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