Broken Arrow Public Schools 5 th Grade Literary Terms and Elements

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1 Broken Arrow Public Schools 5 th Grade Literary Terms and Elements Terms NEW to 5 th Grade Students: Dialect- speaking pattern particular to a region of the country or to a group of people from a specific area; someone might speak with a southern drawl or a northeastern twang. Exposition- part of the story that gives background information about the story or characters usually very early in a novel or play. The story parts are exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. Figurative Language- words, phrases, or descriptions that are not literal in meaning, but are meant to convey an image or idea through comparing one thing to another. Flashback- a break in the normal sequence of events (chronological order of events) to relate information that had happened previously. Foreshadowing- a hint about what will happen later, usually used to build suspense. Imagery- the development through vivid details or figurative language, of images, pictures, of what the narrator experiences. Often effective imagery relies on well-described sensory experiences of sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell. Mood- the feeling the reader gets from the writing. The mood created by an Edgar Allen Poe story is completely different from that created by a James Thurber story. Omniscient- literally all knowing ; in literature it is used to describe 3 rd person narration which is capable of revealing any information about any character s life, thoughts, or actions to the reader. Point of view- the perspective the author gives the narrator. The point of view determines how the story will be told, and how much information about the characters and events will be revealed to the reader. First Person point of view is told by one of the characters, and is directly involved in the story s action, using I, me, and we as common pronouns. Third person point of view is told by a narrator who is not part of the story, and can often tell the reader much more about the other characters and events than a First person narrator can. Second 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 1

2 person narration uses the pronoun you and is an attempt to make the reader feel like a character involved in the action. Second person narration is not common because of its difficulty to write well, and the awkwardness of reading it. Slang- nonstandard use of language; very casual speech or writing. Words, expressions, and usages that are casual, vivid, racy, or playful replacements for standard ones, and are often short-lived (fad expressions), like daddy-o from the 1950s, and are usually considered unsuitable for formal contexts. (example: I ain t gonna go to the mall with ya ll.) Symbolism (symbol, symbolize)- an image, word, object, or idea used to represent something else. The red on the American flag is to symbolize the blood shed in defense of our freedom. Terms taught in Previous Years: Alliteration- the repetition of the same sounds or the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables. Digby the dog likes to dig in the dirt. Author- person who writes something. Autobiography- the story of a person s life written by that person, telling the story of your own life is an autobiography. Beat- a sound or similar sounds, recurring at regular intervals, and produced to help musicians keep rhythm or give a pattern of rhythm to a poem as it is read Biography- the story of a person s life. Cause and Effect- the reason (cause) something happened and what happened (effect) to it. Watering the flowers makes them grow. Cause: watering Effect: flowers grow. Character- any of the people, animals, or creatures who are involved with the story. Chronological Order-the normal sequence of events in a story. The order of events told from the first to the last in their proper order. Climax- the point of the story that has the greatest suspense the moment before the crime is solved or killer revealed in a mystery story. The story parts are exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 2

3 Compare and Contrast- to look at two people or almost any two things and tell how they are alike and/or different. Conflict- A struggle or problems between opposing forces which is the main force of a story and its plot. It is what keeps the reader reading. Conflicts can exist between characters (called man vs. man), between a character and society (called man vs. society), between a character and any aspect of nature (called man vs. nature), or can be within a single individual character (called man vs. self). Cinquain- literally, this means a five-line poem, generally it is a type of patterned poetry with a set pattern of 5 lines: 1 st with one word, 2 nd with two words, 3 rd with three words, 4 th with four words, and the 5 th with one word again. Details- the support or descriptions of events, setting, or characters that make images of them clearly imagined by the reader. Vivid details create sharp, realistic images of even unrealistic characters or settings. Dialogue- The dialogue is what the characters are saying. Diamante- a patterned poem with seven lines, arranged so the words form the shape of a diamond. 1 st line-1-noun, 2 nd line-2-adjectives for line 1, 3 rd line-3 words ending in ing related to line 2, 4 th line-2 synonyms for line 1 and 2 synonyms for line 7, 5 th line-3 words ending in ing related to line 6, 6 th line-2 adjectives for line 7, 7 th line-noun Drama- a story written as a play. Drama is meant to be performed as it is read. Some drama is for reading only, like a radio-play. Some drama is for performing in costumes in front of an audience. Essay- a short piece of non-fiction writing, usually giving the author s perspective on a topic. There are four main modes of essays: Narrative, Descriptive, Expository, and Persuasive (Argumentative). Essays of each mode can be written in a variety of patterns, including comparison/ contrast, cause/ effect, definition, analysis, classification, chronological order, spatial relation, process, and research. Exaggeration-impossible events. To represent as greater than is actually the case. To overstate. Fable- a short story or poem that teaches a lesson (moral). Usually fables show animals acting like people. Fact- information or details about a real event, person, place, or time. Facts are important details in non-fiction writing. 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 3

4 Fairy Tale- a story that is made-up and has magical creatures or people. Some fairy tales tell a lesson, like fables. Some fairy tales you might know are Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, and The Frog Prince. Fantasy- a story that takes place in an unreal world, often with characters and events that cannot exist in the real world. The magic world of Harry Potter is a modern fantasy world with dragons and unicorns. Fiction- writing, a story, that is not true and is not meant to be thought to be true. Fiction stories are written to entertain, to relate a theme to the readers, or both. Folk Tale- a made-up story that tells about how a group of people live. The beliefs, values, habits, common problems, and even language of this group will be part of the story. Free verse poetry- poetry that does not use any set meter, rhythm, or rhyme schemes. Most common type of modern poetry written. Genre- the types of writings that are available: stories, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, biography, etc. Haiku-a Japanese poem without rhyme, but set in three lines totaling 17 syllables 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 again in the third. Most haikus focus on a clear image in an attempt to create a strong emotional response in the reader. Many are about nature. Cowboy Haiku With a cool, night wind distant frogs croak, coyotes howl, moon smiles over all Historical Fiction- fictional stories whose setting is in a particular time in history, usually to use the cultural setting or historical events as part of the plot. These can be about ancient times or modern (contemporary) times. Humor- writing that is meant to entertain in a light manner, not serious; often in funny or absurd situations. Hyperbole- a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. I would wait in line a million years to see that movie!. Idiom- a group of words that cannot be understood by the regular meaning of the words. (example: Sam froze in his steps. No one believes that Sam is so cold he literally froze.) 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 4

5 Infer (Inference)- to come to an understanding of something through reasoning; to reason through information in order to draw a conclusion not stated. Informational Text- any non-fiction writing that is meant to give the reader information or knowledge about a subject rather than just tell the story about someone s life or give someone s opinion about a subject. Legend- a story that is at least part made-up, and might be part real. These stories are usually about great deeds or amazing adventures, but there is no historical proof for it. Legends might have magical creatures or might not. The characters in a legend might have been real people or might have been made up. Legends are usually more made-up than real, even when they are about real people and we want to believe them. The story that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree when he was a boy and then told his father, I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree is a legend and most likely never happened. Limerick-short, usually humorous patterned poem with set rhyme scheme and beat (metrical feet, NOT syllables). The first two lines rhyme, and each has three beats. The next two lines rhyme with each other, and have only two beats in each. The final line rhymes with the first two and also has three beats. There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said, "It is just as I feared!-- Two Owls and a Hen, Four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!" --Edward Lear Main idea- the message, purpose, or thought that the writer is wanting to relate to the reader. Metaphor- a type of figurative language that compares two unlike things but does not use the words like or as. The thorny hedges were fierce guardians keeping the children from playing on the lawn in front of the mansion. Motivation- the reason a character does, thinks, or feels something. Fear can motivate a character to run away. A character s motivation for his actions can cause or end conflict with other characters or within themselves. Mystery- a story that creates suspense with a plot that has something missing, someone killed or some other uncertain event characters try to uncover and understand. Myth- made-up stories from long, long ago that tried to explain events in nature. These are stories from a time before many of the laws of science were known, 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 5

6 and people told of impossible creatures and events to explain events. The people who wrote them expected people to believe they were true. Vulcan was a mythical blacksmith who worked inside a mountain. When he was working, smoke came out of the mountaintop. No one then knew what really made the mountains smoke and pour lava out because they did not understand how the earth worked. Narration-what a storyteller tells about- giving description or telling the events that are happening. Narrator- the teller of the story all stories have a narrator. The narrator can be one of the characters, using First Person point of view, or it can be Third Person point of view, narrating from an outside perspective, seeing much more than any one character could see. Non-fiction- writing that is true and is meant to relate information, ideas, opinions, or facts to the reader. Non-fiction writing will have a main idea. Onomatopoeia- words that are spelled like the sound they represent. Bark. Pop. Zip. Pow. Opinion- a person s feelings or ideas about a subject, person, event, or any other topic. Everyone can have opinions about something, and opinions are considered non-fiction, but it is very important to remember that opinions are not facts and do not prove that the ideas of the writer are true. Patterned poetry- poems that follow a set pattern of lines, syllables, parts of speech, and/or even physical shape. Cinquain, haiku, limerick, and diamante are types of patterned poetry. Personification- non-living objects are given living qualities, or animals are given qualities and abilities of people. Ex: As the frightened salesman walked up to the old mansion, the house stared back at him angrily, frowning at him more with each step he took toward its glaring face. Persuasion- writing or speaking meant to encourage someone to do something. Persuasive writing is used to convince a reader that something is good or bad, that something needs to be changed, or that something should be done. Plot- the main events in the story what happens. Not to be confused with the theme, which is the message, or lesson that the writer wants to relate. Poetry/Poem- writing that does not use standard sentence structure and paragraph formatting. Often poems use rhythm and rhyme as part of their structure and will have specific line length and be set in stanzas rather than normal paragraphs. 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 6

7 Prose- writing that uses the normal patterns and structures of usage and grammar, rather than in lines and stanzas like poetry. Everything written except for poems is prose. Purpose- the Main Idea of the story, the message the writer is wanting the reader to understand: to entertain, to inform, or to persuade. Realistic Fiction- stories that are made-up, but are about things that could happen to real people. Repetition- the repeating of sounds, words, phrases, or sentences for effect. The writer uses repetition to make sure the reader remembers facts, thinks about something that happened, or just wants to make a mental picture strong. Resolution- the end of a story when the problems are solved. The resolution shows the results of the action leading to the climax of the story. Resolution is also called Falling Action. Rhyme- the repetition of the final vowel or vowel sound and all succeeding consonant sounds in two or more words. Wing rhymes with sing. Hopped rhymes with stopped. Rhyme scheme- the pattern of the lines in poetry, both rhyming and unrhymed lines. The word ending the first line is designated a, as are the lines ending with a word that rhymes with it. The next line that does not rhyme with the first is designated as b, as are all lines that rhyme with it. And so forth. The two stanzas below from Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star show the poems pattern of rhyming couplets: Twinkle, twinkle, little star! a How I wonder what you are, a Up above the world so high, b Like a diamond in the sky. b When the glorious sun is set, When the grass with dew is wet, Then you show your little light, Twinkle, twinkle all the night. c c d d Rhythm- rise and fall of the voice produced by the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in language. It can be the flow from one idea or image to the next in poetry. Many poems have a rhythm. Rising action- the events in a plot which build to the climax of the story. The story parts are exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 7

8 Sequence- the order of things in a group or set. The sequence of a story is beginning, middle, and then end. A writer will use the sequence of events as a means of organization. Setting- the time and place of a story. When and where the story takes place. Short Story- a made-up story that is not long enough to be published as a book. A short story might tell a complete story or only be part of a bigger story. Simile- figurative language that is a comparison of two things, usually using like, as, or than to point out the comparison: He is as strong as an ox! She studies all the time she s as sharp as a tack! That book is heavier than a box of rocks! Stanza- a group of lines in a poem. A stanza is the equivalent of a paragraph in poetry. Suspense- a feeling of uncertainty about what will happen next. Tall Tale- a story that is made-up that tries to tell how natural events came to be. Tall tales were not meant to be believed, but are supposed to be a little silly and too strange to be true. Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox, and John Henry are all famous tall tale characters. Text- a piece of writing, in whole or part. It can be any selection of writing, large or small, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. Theme- the moral, lesson, or message that the writer wants the reader to understand from the story. Some stories have themes and some do not. Title- the name of a story, poem, or book. The title will be on the cover and title page of a book. Voice- the attitude of a writing created by the stylistic approach of the writer. The writer s voice may be serious, humorous, formal, friendly, or just about any other attitude that someone can show. 5th Grade Literary Terms last updated: 7/8/08 page 8

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