21 terms

Basic Literary Terms (elementary)

A list of literary terms taught in elementary education.
STUDY
PLAY
alliteration
The practice of beginning several consecutive or neighboring words with the same sound.

example: Peter Piper picked a pack of peppers.
details
Facts revealed by the author or speaker that support the attitude or tone in a piece of poetry or prose
imagery
Consists of words or phrases a writer uses to represent persons, objects, actions, feelings, and ideas descriptively by appealing to the 5 senses. Think of the writer as an "artist" painting his picture with words--very descriptive words.
metaphor
Comparison of two unlike things NOT using "like" or "as."

example: Mary is a pig. (She is messy.)
My homework is a monster. (It is hard.)
Mood
The atmosphere or predominant emotion in a literary work (happy, sad, playful, scary, etc.)
narration
The telling of a story in writing or speaking
onomatopoeia
The use of words that mimic the sounds they describe.

examples: swoosh, ding-dong, meow, pop, hiss, buzz, beep, plop, snip
personification
A kind of metaphor that gives non-living objects or ideas human characteristics.

example: The autumn leaves danced across the yard in the wind. (Leaves cannot really dance like humans, but the image is clear to the reader.)
plot
The sequence of events or actions in a piece of writing (or play).
point of view
The perspective from which a story is told (first person, or third person).
protagonist
The central character of a piece of writing.
pun
A play on words that are identical or similar in sound but have sharply diverse meanings.

example: I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.
repetition
The deliberate use of any element of language more than once-- sound, word, phrase, sentence, grammatical pattern, or rhythmical pattern.
rhyme
Repetition of sounds in two or more words or phrases that appear close to each other in a poem.
end rhyme
A rhyme that occurs at the end of lines.
internal rhyme
A rhyme that occurs within a line (not at the end).
rhyme scheme
The pattern of end rhymes.
setting
In writing/reading, the time and place in which events take place.
simile
A comparison of 2 different things or ideas through the use of the words "like" or "as."

examples: Her smile is like warm sunshine on a
rainy day.
He was as red as a lobster.
verse
The work of a poet (poetry).
prose
Writing or speaking in an ordinary manner without poetical structure or devices.