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Kid-friendly songs using figurative language

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I am putting together a presentation for a fourth grade classroom which will focus on figurative language. I thought it would be fun to incorporate some songs into the lesson, but am having a hard time coming up with kid-friendly examples. (So much popular music has lyrics that would not be appropriate to use in a classroom!) I only have a few songs so far, and I would be grateful for any reccomendations!

The songs can contain any type of figurative language--metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, idiom, etc.--I am looking for representations for everything.

Thanks so much!

 :) Becky
#1 - March 07, 2013, 12:39 PM
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How about that "Firework" song?  I'm so out of it, I don't even know who sings it (or if the lyrics are appropriate!) but it seems like something younger girls likes, and the words are definitely metaphorical.  (Unless, wait--was she really singing to a firework?)
#2 - March 07, 2013, 12:41 PM

Would "I am a Rock" work? The Simon and Garfunkel song. Metaphor throughout.
"Sound of Silence" (uses simile, metaphor and hyperbole) but might be too depressing for kids.

#3 - March 07, 2013, 12:48 PM

This isn't new or hip at all, but the Guys & Dolls song "If I Were a Bell" might be a fun way to do metaphor.

#4 - March 07, 2013, 03:36 PM
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"If I Were a Hammer"? (I'm not sure if that is the name of the song, but folk music might be a good place to look for more ideas.) It sounds like a great presentation, Becky!

ETA: Um, it's "If I HAD a Hammer." Not the same kind of thing at all. I've been singing it to myself all morning and only just realized...  :hiding It was one of those days.
#5 - March 07, 2013, 04:37 PM
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 07:49 AM by RaeE »

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Thanks so much, everyone! I will have to track these songs down. I appreciate your thoughts!

 :) Becky
#6 - March 08, 2013, 05:36 AM
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Ziggy Marley has a lovely kids' CD called family time. In it he sings
Ziggy says sing like a bird
Ziggy says hiss like a snake
Ziggy says roar like a lion
Ziggy says talk like an ape

It's such a lovely CD.

Elizabeth Mitchell also has a lot of songs that could work. She sings You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, which would work for you, as well as others.
#7 - March 08, 2013, 06:31 AM

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Now, you'd think I'd know all about this, with four kids, but my mind is just frozen! But there are some terrific performers out there for kids. I'm sure that Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkner have plenty of tunes that fit the bill. Jack Johnson, too.

I always thought "Drops of Jupiter" by Train would be good for this purpose. I think it's kid-friendly, but can't confirm.....

#8 - March 08, 2013, 03:29 PM

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I'm sure that Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkner have plenty of tunes that fit the bill. Jack Johnson, too.


LOVE Laurie Berkner. I think I know all those lyrics off by heart. But weirdly I can't think of which of her songs might fit... Blast off, another rocketship run... We are the dinosaurs marching marching... Laurie's got a pig on her head... Oh wait, there is one! Look up, it's the moon! Look up, it's the moon! Look up, it's the moon up in the sky. It's big and round, and I have found it looks just like a lemon pie!

There's a bit of figurative speech there after all.

Ooh and does, I've got a song in my tummy, count as figurative speech? That's also Laurie Berkner.

Now I'm thinking about it, though, I'm worried that both Laurie Berkner and Ziggy Marley's music is way too young for fourth graders. Or maybe I'm out of touch?
#9 - March 08, 2013, 04:23 PM
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 04:29 PM by Franzilla »

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Hmmm....I was thinking the same thing!

#10 - March 08, 2013, 04:52 PM

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Becky, a quick Google search led me to this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1c6zF9aJxs

It appears to have been created for classroom use, and all song clips seem clean. Hopefully you'll find a few pop songs you can use!
#11 - March 08, 2013, 04:56 PM

Showing my age, but here goes. Two of my favorite songs.

"Like a Rock" by Bob Seger.

"Like Water" by Bad Company.
#12 - March 08, 2013, 08:04 PM
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"You Are My Sunshine"  has clean lyrics.
#13 - March 08, 2013, 09:19 PM
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Thank you SO MUCH everyone! The lesson is really coming together, and I am SO excited!

I think I will start with going over the main kinds of figurative language with the class. I just ordered a copy of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Road" kids' book w/cd to use, so we will listen to/read that. Then I will get the kids to think of songs that they know that use figurative language, and use these wonderful examples that you all have shared. I am *hoping* to end the lesson by letting the kids work in groups to create their own songs, IF we have enough time. This sounds fun, doesn't it?

 :thankyou Becky   
#14 - March 09, 2013, 08:26 AM
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