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Gallery of Figurative Language Puzzle Review by April Elstrom

Jane DiBridge
Standards in Puzzles
(864) 420-4110
114 Whittlin Way
Taylors, SC 29687

Once upon a time there was a young mother with an extremely emotional preschool child who also happened to love working on puzzles. The young mother was grateful to discover that puzzles could calm her child down when a meltdown was building. From that moment on, the mother filled her home with puzzles for children and adults of all ages. As her children grew older, she bought map puzzles, globe puzzles and castle puzzles to replace the alphabet and number puzzles. However, she never found a puzzle that came with educational activities until she discovered Standards in Puzzles.

Yes, that mother was me. Since our family enjoys puzzles, I was excited to be able to review the Gallery of Figurative Language Puzzle from Standards in Puzzles. The puzzle itself is a fun 513-piece jigsaw puzzle with quality illustrations. When completed, the puzzle measures about 15 inches by 21 inches and can be assembled on a card table or other small table. It depicts an art museum, with each painting in the museum being an example of a type of figurative language. The pictures hanging in the museum are humorous and eye-catching. Under each painting is a sign that explains the picture and labels it as a form of figurative language.

My nine-year-old, eleven-year-old and I were able to assemble this puzzle in about two hours. Although it is intended to be used with sixth through eighth grade students, I used it with my third and sixth grade children. As we worked to complete the puzzle, we were able to hold a natural discussion about metaphors, similes, idioms, irony, personification, hyperbole, euphemisms, and oxymorons. The puzzle comes with a downloadable lesson plan that includes five separate activities, as well as instructions for setting up rotating learning stations to complete the lesson on figurative language. In our family, we worked through the activities together, starting with the puzzle and moving onto the worksheets.

The worksheets are fun and require the student to think analytically and apply what they've learned regarding figurative language. Most of the assignments were very challenging for my third grade son, but they were definitely at the right level for my sixth grade daughter. The lesson includes a few hands-on activities for those who prefer kinesthetic learning. If you want to use this with all of your children, you can adapt the lessons and worksheets, or work alongside your younger students to walk them through the lesson. It works very well for multi-level students if you help the younger ones or let them team up with an older sibling. Although I targeted my third and sixth grade students, my first grader and older children also joined in the discussion. 

Although the puzzles from Standards in Puzzles are designed primarily for classroom use, they are easily adaptable to home education, as well. The Gallery of Figurative Language Puzzle provided us with a memorable and enjoyable day of learning. It's perfect for introducing a fun element to your homeschool or breaking up the drudgery of your usual book work on a Friday. I highly recommend these educational puzzles.

-Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2018