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Literary Devices: Examples and Lessons on Terms!

Are you looking for high-powered vocabulary words to take your ELA analysis to the next level? Pop these literary devices examples and definitions of terms into your next English Language Arts class, and you’ll make your class gape in awe.

I’ve been an ELA teacher for 18 years and can vouch for the wonder of these words. Every one of the literary terms, devices, and elements below is highly useful in discussing texts, film — and even life. Click through to see each full lesson — from “Types of Conflict” to “Suspense,” use them with love, and enjoy!

Literary Devices and Terms List

Looking for the most useful and interesting literary devices and terms (with definitions and examples) for English Language Arts (ELA) learning? Here you go!

Which Literary Devices are YOUR Faves?

Looking through this list of literary terms examples and definitions, which do you most enjoy? I have several favorites. My first is the “Types of Irony” lesson, because as a teacher, I could never find resources that clearly explained the definition and uses of the term — until now.

Literary terms vocabulary list
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Figurative language is always a big favorite when I teach the lesson with my classes (who doesn’t love a good simile comparison?) and “Topic vs. Theme” and “Tone vs. Mood” are two of the most popular ones on this whole site with teachers looking for free English Language Arts lesson resources.

As you can see, this vocabulary glossary and literary terms list of examples and definitions is just a start, so let me know which other wonderful ELA words you’d like to see illustrated and explained. Do share!

Melissa Matis

Saturday 29th of May 2021

Hi! I love your site. Do you have any cartoons for suspense, irony, and/or allusion? Thank you, Melissa

Lillie Marshall

Saturday 15th of October 2022

I've just finished illustrating and adding irony to this list. Thanks for the suggestion!

Lillie Marshall

Monday 3rd of October 2022

Melissa, Suspense is now up! The others are coming soon. Thanks for your requests!

Lillie Marshall

Saturday 29th of May 2021

Ahh, brilliant!!! I will add these to the list. Thanks so much for the suggestions, and thank you for your kind words.