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Activity Overview

Many short stories and screenplays are rich in figurative language and literary elements. These are used to enhance the symbols, motifs, and themes within the plot. “The Devil and Tom Walker” is no exception. The uses of simile, metaphor, personification, and onomatopoeia are abundant.

A great lesson plan, after reading the story, is for students to create a scavenger hunt using the Storyboard Creator. Give them a list of types of figurative language to find, and have them create a storyboard that depicts and explains the use of each literary element in the story! They will have an absolute blast and master the words by the end.

Elements of Figurative Language - Motifs of Greed and Devilish Behavior!

Metaphor An implied comparison between two things “Tom looked in the direction that the stranger pointed, and beheld one of the great trees, fair and flourishing without, but rotten at the core, and saw that it had been nearly hewn through, so that the first high wind was likely to blow it down. ”
Imagery The use of descriptive or figurative language to create vivid mental imagery that appeals to the senses "...he had his horse new shod, saddled and bridled, and buried with his feet uppermost; because he supposed that at the last day the world would be turned upside down..."
Allusion Brief and indirect reference to well-known person, place, thing or idea, usually of historical, cultural or literary significance "It was announced in the papers with the usual flourish that ‘a great man had fallen in Israel.’"
Simile A comparison using 'like' or 'as' "A miserable horse, whose ribs were as articulate as the bars of a gridiron, stalked about a field..."
Irony The contrast between what expected and what actually happens. (There are three kinds of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic irony.) "The Devil take me," said he, "if I have made a farthing!"
Personification Giving human-like characteristics to non-human objects or abstract ideas "...the stranger was neither Negro nor Indian...dressed in a rude half-Indian garb... a shock of coarse black hair, that stood out from his head in all directions, and bore an ax on his shoulder."

Template and Class Instructions

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

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows five examples of literary elements in "The Devil and Tom Walker".

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify use of literary elements in the text.
  3. Put the type of literary element in the title box.
  4. Give an example from the text in the description box.
  5. Illustrate the example using using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.

Lesson Plan Reference


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Literary Elements Rubric
Create a storyboard that shows different literary elements from the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Identification of Literary Elements
All literary elements are correctly identified.
Most literary elements are correctly identified.
Few literary elements are correctly identified.
Illustrations show attention to the details of the story and demonstrate connection to the literary elements.
Illustrations demonstrate connection to the literary elements.
Illustrations show little connection to the literary elements.
Description of Literary Elements
Descriptions clearly explain what the literary elements do to enhance the story.
Most descriptions tell what the literary elements do to enhance the story.
Descriptions are unrelated to the literary elements.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is very inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is very difficult to understand.

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