Every teacher can tell you that building consistently meaningful lesson plans is one of the great challenges of teaching. Teachers have to create hundreds of lesson plans each year. These lesson plans are very important because they provide the framework for each child’s education. Preparing these lessons can become quite a chore considering how much work it requires, but creative lesson plans make learning much more fun and engaging for students. This is a fun lesson plan I created in one of my writing classes and is an example of a fun way to teach required material. Enjoy!
Age level: Grades 3-6
Objective: Literature can be extremely boring. If writing is not interesting and engaging, then the author’s message is often lost to the reader. This activity is designed to help students learn in a fun and memorable way what a hyperbole is and how to use it effectively in their writing, thus making their writing more creative, fun, and engaging.
Background: Every time I hear the word “hyperbole,” I pronounce it “hyper bowl” in my mind because it sounds more fun that way. Therefore, to introduce hyperboles, I will read/tell/act out the following story: There once was a little bowl named Billy. Billy was very boring, so all the bowls called him “Billy the Boring Bowl.” His family and friends all tried to make him laugh and join in their fun and excitement. They showed him all the fascinating things he could fill himself with: ice cream, cereal, popcorn, sand, water, and even candy. They showed him how to play “King of the Sink,” a game where each competitor tries to fill the other bowls with water and sink them. They even went so far as showing him the thrill of jumping from the highest cupboard onto the kitchen floor far below. (They are plastic bowls, so they are strong and don’t break!) However, nothing seemed to work. Nothing could make him laugh, or play, or even crack a smile. Eventually, no one wanted to be around Billy because he was so boring and unhappy. Soon, Billy was very lonely. He realized that he needed to change his attitude and be a happier, more exciting bowl. He decided to be more energetic and hyper, so he started exaggerating everything he said like, “Wow, this sink water is hotter than an oven!”, “If I try to fit in one more cheerio, I’m going to explode!”, and “The top shelf of the cupboard is higher than a mountain!” No bowl had ever used such exciting and enthusiastic language before. Soon the other bowls started to like Billy because he was happier and more exciting and comfortable with himself. They started calling him “Billy the Hyper Bowl.” After the story, I will define hyperbole and address any questions my students might have.
- I will fill “Billy the Hyper Bowl” with several examples of hyperbole written on thin strips of paper.
- I will then pick an example or two from the bowl and read them aloud to the class, pretending that Billy is speaking.
- Then, I will ask for a few volunteers who will each get to pick out and read an example aloud. This will help the students understand clearly what a hyperbole is and how they can use it in their writing.
- After several fun examples, I will discuss the following assignment: each student will write a brief story (about ½ page long) in which he/she will use three examples of hyperboles that are appropriate to the story.
- In class, I will pass Billy around, and the students will take turns reading their stories aloud to the class.
- The class will vote on the best stories, and the winners will each receive a prize and have their work displayed on the “Award Board.”
Sample story: Once upon a time there was a little boy named Timmy. Timmy was tiny, tinier than a mouse. He had a brother named Jimmy. Jimmy was tall and skinny, skinnier than a toothpick. One day Timmy and Jimmy were playing together in the forest. The trees towered over them taller than mountains. All of a sudden, a bear the size of an elephant appeared, roaring and stomping the ground. The brothers, terrified, quickly looked for a place to hide. Timmy found a hollow log nearby, and because he was so tiny he was able to crawl into it easily. Timmy found a small tree nearby, and because he was so skinny he was able to hide behind it easily. The bear, unable to find the boys, decided to find a snack elsewhere. After the boys were sure the bear was gone they peeked out of their hiding places. “Whoa!” they said. “That was close!” They raced home as fast as cheetahs to tell their mother about their adventure.
- Writing utensil
- A colorfully decorated bowl named Billy
- Since many children watch television each day, each student could be assigned to find three examples of hyperbole in the show(s) he/she watches, write them down, and bring them to class to share.
- Rather than taking time for every student to share their story with the class, the students could get in groups of four or five and share their stories with the group. Each group would pick their favorite story, and those would be shared with the class.
- When reading the examples of hyperbole, the teacher and students could use funny voices to make the activity more fun and interesting.
- EXCELLENT: Story has 3 or more hyperboles that each fit appropriately into the story.
- VERY GOOD: Story has at least 3 hyperboles, some that fit appropriately into the story and some that do not.
- GOOD: Story has 1-2 hyperboles with at least one that fits appropriately into the story.
- NEEDS HELP: Story has 1 or no hyperboles, none of which fit appropriately into the story.