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Definition- Using the words around a word one doesn’t
understand to find out the meaning.
Ex: The storm was so immense that it blew away the
Definition- A way of expressing yourself by using special
words/terms to make phrases more interesting.
Similes- Comparing two objects using the words “like” or
Ex: Hurricane Katrina felt like Judgment Day.
Metaphors- Exactly like similes, but without the use of
“like” or “as.”
Ex: The child was a twister of fury.
Analogies- Comparing two objects that can be either different
Ex: The wind in Kansas is fierce as a charging bull
Imagery- Painting a picture in one’s head using good
Ex: The torrent of cold rain slashed at the weak skin
of my shredded, orange and yellow poncho.
Onomatopoeia- Describing something using sound words.
Ex: Crack, went the bolt of lightning!
Personification- Giving something non-human, a human
Ex: The wind howled by my window, making the
Hyperbole- Extreme exaggeration.
Ex: The pile of snow is as tall as Mt. Everest.
Idiom- An expression that says one thing but means
Ex: It was raining cats and dogs outside! Really
meaning that it was raining heavily outside.
Symbolism- An image/object that represent something.
Ex: The newly-wed had a stormy romance.
Definition- Different ways of writing text types.
Sequence- A step-by-step explanation of how to do
Ex: First, the dark storm clouds rolled over the town.
Then the freezing rain and hail began to fall.
Lastly, the rain ceases and the empty clouds roll
Problem/Solution- Describing a problem in the text and
then a solution to the problem.
Ex: The farmers fields had begun to wither away
and his stream had dried up earlier that summer. As
if hearing his prayers, a massive rainstorm
rejuvenated his fields and filled his stream.
Comparison/Contrast- Describing the similarities and
differences between two objects.
Ex: A F5 tornado can rip away entire
neighborhoods, while a F1 tornado, though still
dangerous, destroys a few houses.
Description- Giving vivid details of an event or object.
Ex: The blizzard dropped the temperature to -60,
with winds up to 98 mph. It was so thick that you
couldn’t see three inches in front of your face, or if
you were about to walk into a wall.
Cause/Effect- Because something happened, something
Ex: Since the temperature was just right, a tropical
storm was created.
Definition- A short version of a story that includes all
the main details and
Ex: Instead of reading the entire story of The Wizard
of Oz, you could read a short three to four sentence
One day Dorothy’s house was swept up in a tornado
and deposited into the Land of Oz. While there she is
told to find the Wizard of Oz, for he is the only one
who can return her to her former home in Kansas.
On the journey she meets the Cowardly Lion, the Tin
Man, and the Scarecrow who also want to find the
Wizard, for they are lacking courage, a heart, and a
brain. The entire time they try to avoid the Wicked
Witch of the West who wants Dorothy’s shoes.
Description- The main point or subject of a story.
Supporting Details- Extra details that help along the main idea of the
Ex: Hurricanes are extremely dangerous and can destroy
cities and towns in it’s path. Hurricanes are formed from
tropical storms that have picked up speed. Luckily, scientists
can predict when and where hurricanes will hit so people can
be evacuated from danger zones. Unfortunately, the cities
themselves can not be saved from the hurricanes destructive
path, and can take years to re-build.
Theme- The moral or lesson of a story.
Ex: The theme to the book, “Spots Windy Day”, is friendship
and helping out your friends and neighbors.
Definition- The reasoning behind the author’s words.
Ex: The author’s purpose in the nursery rhyme, “The
Itty Bitty Spider,” was to tell the reader never to give
up and you will always succeed.
Definition- The way an author tries to make the
story more interesting.
Foreshadowing- Clues that lead the reader to
something that is going to happen later in
Ex: An author could write that the
clouds had been getting darker, the
wind had been picking up, and the air
more humid. Thus, foreshadowing a
Flashback- When someone remembers a past event
that is relevant to the story.
Ex: In the movie, Cloudy With a Chance of
Meatballs, the main character flashes back
to all the times he’s disappointed his dad.
Irony- A way of saying an action or attitude
opposite to what is actually said
Ex: You see some umbrellas on sale for a
great price, but decide not to buy one. On
the way home it starts to pour.
Definition- Different ways to persuade viewers and
readers to buy something or join a group.
Bandwagon- Telling the viewer/reader that
everyone else is doing something and that they
Ex: An average person who has a leak in his
roof sees a commercial for a type of “drip-
stopper”. The commercial shows a lot of other
people around his age and living style using
Statistics- Using numbers, such as percentages or fractions, to
tell how good a product really is.
Ex: A weatherman sees a commercial for a new type of
sonar and the announcer says that 4 out of 5
meteorologists agree that this is the best sonar.
Testimonials- When commercialists’ use quotes of people in their
advertising to say what their products like.
Ex: A professional singer says on a commercial, “I
suggest Silencer to anybody who has breezy windows. It
really helped me get a better nights sleep and be able to
give it my all in the morning.”
Glittering Generalities- Using big/fancy words to make a
product look better than it really is.
Ex: A commercial for sunblock uses words such as
“strongest” or “longest lasting”. Unfortunately, these
things cannot be proven and are most likely fake.
Emotional Appeal- Words that touch the reader/viewer into
wanting to buy the product.
Ex: The same sunblock is being advertised and this
time the advertiser is telling you that not only is this
brand of sunblock the cheapest brand out there, but it
also doesn’t stop you from getting that awesome tan!
Definition- People authors create or use in the stories, there are
minor and major characters. There are also good and evil
Protagonist-The good character in the story or the hero.
Ex: In the book, “Treasure Island,” the protagonist, or
good guy, was Jimmy because he was the one in
Antagonist- The evil character in the story or the villain.
Ex: In “Treasure Island” the villain was Long John
Silver and his band of pirates because they were the
ones causing the harm.
Definition- The setting is where the story mainly takes place,
this can either be a real or make-believe place.
Ex: In “Call of the Wild” the setting to the story is in the
Yukon Territory in Canada.