Activity Overview

Personification is when a writer gives human characteristics or actions to something nonhuman, and it is very common in poetry. As students read Brown Girl Dreaming, they will come across several examples of this type of figurative language. For this activity, students will identify and illustrate at least three examples of personification. Teachers may ask the kids to illustrate the phrase literally, as it’s intended in the text, or both. The example for this activity shows the literal interpretation of each example of personification. Teachers may also want to give the students a list of examples, or have them do a “scavenger hunt” either as they read, or as an activity after reading.

Examples of Personification in Brown Girl Dreaming

  • Page 22: There was only a roaring in the air around her.
  • Page 28: In return, they hold onto their color, even as the snow begins to fall.
  • Page 32: A front porch swing thirsty for oil.
  • Page 64: The South doesn’t agree with my brother.
  • Page 78: It’s Friday night and the weekend ahead is already calling us.
  • Page 123: Where the light is almost blue, the white winter sun painting it.
  • Page 143: This place is a Greyhound bus humming through the night.
  • Page 169: I want to catch words one day.
  • Page 222: So I go back to writing down words that are songs, and stories, and whole new worlds, tucking themselves into my memory.
  • Page 267: We board the bus when the sun is just kissing the sky.
  • Page 289: Two peas in a pod, you were.
  • Page 319: Love can wrap itself around you.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective:Create a 3 cell spider map, illustrating and describing three examples of personification in the text.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write the example and page number in the description box. In addition, write what the author is intending to say, or the literal meaning.
  3. Illustrate each example using scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

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