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40 Figurative Language Examples for Upper Elementary

If you’d rather watch paint dry than come up with figurative language examples and activities, give your brain a break because this post will leave you feeling like a kid in a candy store!

This blog post contains 40 figurative language examples that will make you cheer like a teacher at a Target sale. Feel free to use these examples to create your own activity, but if you aren’t interested in reinventing the wheel, I’ve got several figurative language resources you can download today.

40 Figurative Language Examples for Upper Elementary

The figurative language types provided are those commonly found in upper elementary instruction, including onomatopoeia, simile, personification, alliteration, personification, hyperbole, and metaphor. These are the same figurative language types found in most of the Fun in 5th Grade figurative language resources listed above. Some of the examples below are directly from the resources, but many are not! As many of our digital resources are editable, you can mix and match your favorite examples to use the resources again and again!


  • The bubble popped just as Sam tried to get the attention of his friends.
  • The fireworks boomed as Taylor rode the Ferris Wheel.
  • The chip bag crunched and crackled as she shoved it into her sack.
  • Pat listened to the bubble wrap pop as she squeezed it between her fingers.
  • The old gate creaked loudly as the wind blew it open.


  • Timothy was like a kid in a candy store.
  • The star was as sparkly as a diamond.
  • She ran as fast as a cheetah.
  • The spaghetti slithered around like snakes on her plate.
  • Reading is like living another person’s life.


  • The house breathed in the smell of the chocolate cookies.
  • The crowd sighed in unison.
  • When she watered the plant, its leaves danced under the weight of the water.
  • The shoes were hiding under the bed.
  • The cereal swam circles in the milk.


  • Millie’s Monster Math makes learning math fun.
  • The putrid plant’s scent is pungent.
  • She was chilling in the checkered chair.
  • We get to go to Wonder World!
  • My favorite character is Big Bird.


  • It’s raining cats and dogs.
  • We had to bite the bullet and walk home after our car broke down.
  • Time flies when you’re having fun!
  • She was left hanging out to dry.
  • Molly took the child under her wing.


  • This activity is taking forever.
  • I ate as much as ten men!
  • It took forever to find you!
  • She made us write for hours and hours.
  • I thought the school day would never end!


  • Johnny was a clown.
  • The sea was a sheet of glass.
  • The squirrel was a ninja as he snuck into the yard.
  • The children were hyenas laughing hysterically at the silly joke.
  • The teacher is a picture of calm as she observes the mess.

Ready-to-Go Figurative Language Activities from Fun in 5th Grade.

Personally, I like my lessons to crackle and pop. Basic vocabulary instruction bores me to tears, and there is nothing I hate worse than when my student’s eyes glaze over in class, so I choose to gamify many of my figurative language activities. Check them out by clicking on the images below!

Winter Themed Figurative Language Freebie with Mystery Pictures

Just in time for the change in seasons, you can use this FREE activity to review or practice figurative language with your students. 15 examples of figurative language are included, and the answers correspond to winter-themed mystery grid pictures that students can then color!

Figurative Language Game Show

Use this highly engaging Game Show to review before a test or to assess students before a new figurative language unit! Students will beg to play this Jeopardy-style game again and again! 

Figurative Language Flip Book

This flipbook will help introduce the different types of figurative language to your students. This ready-to-print, 9-page flipbook includes an introductory page to introduce the different types of figurative language and a page dedicated to each type of figurative language. Each page has space for the definition, an example, and a picture. Application is also encouraged as the pages have space for students to find and record figurative language examples from their reading.

Figurative Language Review with an Interactive Game Board

Review figurative language in a fun and engaging way with this DIGITAL Figurative Language Review Activity! Play as a whole group, small group, or even during distance learning! With 30 examples of figurative language for students to practice, this resource is sure to help them master that standard. Learn more about our digital review activities and interactive board games in this post!

Want even more English Language Arts examples and activities like these?

Click this link to see even more ELA resources available today in the Fun in 5th Grade Store!

We promised 40 examples, but this post is a treasure trove of figurative language examples. Some are tough to pick out, but many are hiding in plain sight. Use this post with some of your advanced learners and see if they can identify the extra examples.

If you found some extra examples, comment with one below, and let’s see if we can find them all!

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