What do Edgar Allan Poe and Kanye West have in common? How about William Shakespeare and Taylor Swift? Nothing? Wrong. They all use literary devices in their writing! Whether it be poetry or songs, the literary devices are there and they are turning good writing into great writing.
When I was in high school, I didn’t think that anything we learned could be applicable in “real life” and that everything was just work to keep us busy. I remember wondering to myself when I would ever see alliteration, personification, metaphors, or any other literary devices outside of school. School was always separate from “real life.” I wasn’t planning on reading and analyzing any poems after school, so why should I be learning how to do that in school?
The more students are engaged, the more they will want to learn. One way to engage students when it comes to literary devices is to bring pop culture into the lesson. Just about every kid cares about pop culture so this is a sure way to not only engage students, but involve them as well.
When teaching literary devices, bringing examples of song lyrics into the lesson will help students to understand better because they relate to them and are more familiar with them. Going back and forth between songs and poems can help the students to understand the connection and see that literary devices are not just a lesson in school. They are relevant in “real life” too!
How can you include pop culture in your classroom? How can pop culture be used cross curricularly? What other “real life” uses can be found for literary devices?