Activity Overview

Most 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. Monsters on Maple Street is no exception. The use of simile, metaphor, personification, and onomatopoeia is abundant.

A great activity for students to complete after reading the story is to go on a scavenger hunt! Give them a list 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 Hysteria and Animal-like Behavior!

Metaphor An implied comparison between two things “Maple Street was bedlam. It was an outdoor asylum for the insane.”

"A fever had taken hold now, a hot burning virus..."
Simile A comparison using 'like' or 'as' "They blinked foolishly at the lights, and their mouths gaped like fishes"

"Like a hippopotamus in a circus"
Onomatopoeia The spelling of a word mimics the sound it represents "Everyone on the street looked up at the sound of the whoosh."
Personification Giving human-like characteristics to non-human objects or abstract ideas "The dull, dumb, blind prejudice of the man"

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 different literary elements and use of figurative language in The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.

  1. Review your list of literary elements.
  2. Look for examples of literary elements from the text.
  3. Illustrate each example using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Type in a description of what the literary element does to enhance the story.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/7/5] Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/7/6] Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression


(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.

How To Explain the Concept of Onomatopoeia to Younger Students


Introduce the Concept

Begin the class with an engaging opening such as telling the students that they are going to learn about something interesting today. Once the students are fully attentive, teachers can start with an example such as the sound of “Whoosh” and explain what Onomatopoeia is and how it can be used in writing.


Explain the Significance and Context

Explain to the students why such words are used by the author and their significance in the story. Teachers can also explain the origin of the concept and read some texts particularly focused on this concept.


Give a Creative Exercise

Give the students sketching supplies, such as paper, crayons, and markers. Teachers can create a list of interesting onomatopoeic words and have the students select one (such as "Splash" for the sound of water). Ask the students to depict the sound with a drawing. The onomatopoeic term may also be written on the student's drawing.


Play Interactive Games

Tell the students to form a circle and as a group, begin a story and use onomatopoeic terms. For instance, "The sound of the wind whooshing incited a sense of terror." Give each student the opportunity to contribute a phrase to the narrative by describing a sound with an onomatopoeic term. The sentences should be written on the board or on the notebooks by students.


Reflect on Discussions

Wrap up the session by asking the students what they learned today and if they found this concept interesting. Ask the students to particularly practice the pronunciation of “Onomatopoeia” as the word can be a little hard to pronounce for younger students.

Frequently Asked Questions About Literary Elements The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

What is the significance of foreshadowing in the story?

Tommy's suspicion in the narrative regarding alien participation serves as foreshadowing. Because of this suggestion, the later events unfold, and the residents of Maple Street fall victim to mass panic and hysteria.

How does the author build tension in the narrative?

The lack of electricity, the people's growing terror, and the escalating hostilities among neighbors all contribute to the suspense. The situation's ambiguity heightens interest in its outcome. The author has used several literary elements such as similes, metaphors, and personification to portray these events.

What does "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" mean as a title?

The title implies that the real "monsters" in the tale are not aliens but rather the locals themselves, who turn against one another out of fear and paranoia.

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