Stylistic devices

As you analyse texts and engage in close reading, it is useful to know and understand many stylistic devices, such as 'alliteration' or 'simile'. You should be able to identify stylistic devices when discussing texts in class or writing about texts on exam papers. Here are few activities to help you learn about stylistic devices. 

  1. Have you ever played memory (or 'pairs' as the British call it)? Download, print, laminate and shuffle the A6 cards below. Follow the instructions, matching the pairs of texts when it is your turn. When you are done playing the game and have identified the stylistic devices in each pair of text, discuss, as a class, why you think the authors of these texts chose to use these stylistic devices in their texts? You may have to research the texts and the authors to come to a better understanding of them.

  2. A6 cards: 'Stylistic Device Memory'
  3. Do you like quizzes and flash cards? Make an online quiz for your classmate, using Kahoot or another application. Or make a set of flashcards, with the name of the stylistic device on one side and a definition and example on the other side. Use a website like to gather your devices and create cards. 

  4. Flash cards and games are fun, but they do not help you see the relationships between devices, or understand why authors use them. Alliteration, consonance and assonance, for example, are like siblings on a family tree. They may be found on a branch called 'sound' together with onomatopoeia and rhyme. And this branch may be found on a larger branch called 'appealing to the senses' from which other branches appear, such as 'imagery'. As a class, make a 'family tree' of stylistic devices on a wall in your classroom. As you discover and explore texts and devices throughout your learning career, chart them on your tree. Discuss how the devices are related as you build your tree. 

Last modified: Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 12:57 PM