Step 1: The teacher will grab students’ attention by holding a broom in front of them and making the broom “dance” and “talk” in dialogue that could be spoken by a human. The teacher will ask students what the broom is acting like and lead a discussion until students decide the broom is portraying a human. The teacher will write the word “personification” on the board and explain that it is a form of figurative language. The teacher will ask students what word they see inside the word “personification”, which would be “person”. The teacher will explain that personification means that an animal or object, such as the broom, in a story possess characteristics matching that of a person or human. The teacher will explain that the broom moved and talked like a person, and therefore the teacher had personified the broom. The teacher will say that many forms of stories, poems, television shows, and movies contain animals or objects that are personified to make the plot more interesting. The teacher will show a website picture from Disney’s Finding Nemo and explain that the characters in the movie talk and act like humans, so they are an example of personification.
Step 2: The teacher will say that personification can be found in many forms of literature. The teacher will read aloud multiple sentences from the Examples of Personification website as well as many of the nursery rhyme poems. The teacher will lead a discussion after each sentence/poem reading to encourage students to conclude what animal or object is the focus and what they are doing that gives them human characteristics. The teacher will explain that personification can be found in all fiction genres of books, as well as in poems and nursery rhymes.
Step 3: The teacher will explain that many television shows and movies contain personified characters. The teacher will ask students to provide ideas about television shows and movie characters that they have seen that featured personification. The teacher will introduce a personification video and play it for the students via a projector connected to a computer. The teacher will lead a class discussion upon completion of the video about personification descriptors in the video and will list each clue provided in the discussion on a chart entitled “Personification in Television/Movies”.
Step 4: The teacher will introduce The Widow’s Broom to students. The teacher will explain that students must look closely at the pictures and listen carefully to the text clues to pinpoint details that portray the broom as having human characteristics. The teacher will read the story aloud using the document camera, stopping at each page to lead a discussion about the broom’s characteristics. At times, the teacher will instruct students to turn and talk to the partner next to them about the broom’s personified characteristics.
Step 5: After reading the story, the teacher will distribute two copies of the Brainstorming Graphic Organizer to each student. The teacher will divide the class into groups of three and give each group a copy of The Widow’s Broom. Each group will work together to record clues describing the broom’s human characteristics.