Personification Practice

Personification is figurative language in which nonhuman objects are given human characteristics. Personification is prevalent in literature, film, and television. Students’ favorite programs, like Spongebob Squarepants and Thomas the Train, as well as popular picture books, like The Giving Tree and The Day the Crayons Quit, showcase ordinarily inanimate objects possessing human qualities. Students are, therefore, exposed to the concept of personification at an early age. Children have been exposed to personification words in fairy tales, nursery rhymes, poetry, song lyrics, and fables. Study of personification practice lists, paired with educational online games, is a great way to help students retain important word study and information.

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Teachers should create personification practice lesson plans that start with using personification in a sentence building on students’ prior knowledge of the concept (the wind howled; the moon played hide and seek with the clouds; time flies when you’re having fun).

Teaching to Use Personification in Sentences

As students get older, personification practice lists should be paired with written activities and implemented to further show how authors use the figure of speech to paint a picture in their writing. For example, in Langston Hughes poem, “Dreams,” the writer uses personification and imagery to contrast a life with dreams and a life without dreams (“Hold fast to dreams / For when dreams go / Life is a barren field”). You can use our personification online games, or games you create yourself for the classroom, to provide further practice that is fun for students of all ages.

VocabularySpellingCity can supplement personification practice lessons through ready-to-use K-12 personification practice lists, online games, and free printable worksheets.

The term personification first appears in the sixth grade ELA Common Core Standards. However, early readers may first encounter personification in nursery rhymes, like “Humpty Dumpty” and in fairy tales, like The Gingerbread Man. In the primary grades, teachers can introduce a basic concept of personification.

At a young age, students are also exposed to anthropomorphic stories. Anthropomorphism is when an author attributes human characteristics and/or behaviors to animals. Fables, like The Tortoise and the Hare, and fairy tales, like Little Red Riding Hood, portray animal characters with human qualities. In second grade, students are expected to learn in depth about fables. Second grade teachers can incorporate an anthropomorphism lesson, using a personification practice list, into their fables unit of study to gain experience using personification in a sentence.

In addition, students become familiar with the concept as they read literature and poetry in which authors use personification with inanimate objects (The sun smiled upon the earth), or with abstract ideas (The math problem refused to be solved). In upper grade levels, students will interpret personification in context as well as analyze the role of the figurative language within the text. Personification word study often focuses on the use of verbs, which are especially important in creating the human-like qualities. Students use personification practice lists in their own writing using VocabularySpellingCity’s Sentence Writing Practice or Paragraph Writing Practice as a personification online game.

Learn about more types of figurative language: hyperbole, idioms, metaphors and similes.

Personification in a Sentence

Personification Practice ListsView Common Core State Standards Related to PersonificationClose

Common Core State Standards Related to Personification

Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).

Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.

Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

Personification – Elementary School
  • The brown grass is hoping for rain.
  • The city never sleeps.
  • The sun played hide and seek with the clouds.
  • The carved pumpkin smiled at us.
  • The camera loves her.

 K-5 Personification Practice Worksheet (MatchIt Sentences)

Personification – Middle School
  • The palm trees were dancing in the wind.
  • The breeze whispered softly in the night.
  • Time waits for no one.
  • The pool beckoned to the swimmers.
  • The car’s engine coughed its last breath.

 6-8 Personification Practice Worksheet (Sentence Unscramble)

Personification – High School
  • Opportunity came knocking.
  • Still waters run deep.
  • Lightning danced across the sky.
  • The snow wrapped a white blanket around the campus.
  • The city rose before us.

 9-12 Personification Practice Worksheet (WhichWord? Sentences) provides personification practice lists, printables, and interactive online games and activities that give students the opportunity to distinguish between literal and nonliteral language, interpret, and practice personification in written work.

Try MatchIt Sentences with the Elementary School Personification words list to practice using personification in sentences.

Personification Online Games