Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Question: Why should students as young as second and third graders learn to recognize and to use hyperbole sparingly in their writing?

Answer: They should learn to recognize it in their speech and in  reading and to use it sparingly in their writing.

Quote: “Children are prone to hyperbole in their everyday speech, so it’s not a far reach for students to incorporate this author’s  craft effectively in their writing.” P. 305.

Quote: “Hyperbole is not intended to be taken literally. Oftentimes linked to quantitative or idiomatic expressions hyperbole is any purposeful use of exaggeration to emphasize a point or create a desired effect. It’s hard to imagine a world without hyperbole. Just as we use exaggeration to tell stories of our everyday lives, authors use hyperbole to tell their stories and bring voice to their writing.” P. 305.

Some examples of hyperbole in everyday expressions:
“He is as skinny as a toothpick.”

“I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!”

“I have a million things to do today.”

“She was so embarrassed she thought she might die.”

Comment: Helping students separate clear expressions from hyperbolic expressions is one way of eliminating clich├ęs. Recognizing and eliminating hyperbole from speech is one way of encouraging students to think before they speak. RayS.

Title: “Toolbox: Emphasize with Extravagant Exaggeration.” Adapted from Susan Ehmann and Kellyann Gayer’s I Can Write Like That! A Guide to Mentor Texts and Craft Studies for Writers’ Workshop, K-6. Reading Teacher (February 2012), 306-307.

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