Literary Terms Worksheets for Review & Practice

By , M.Ed. English Education
literary terms symbol irony subplot satire tone setting
    literary words symbol irony subplot satire tone setting
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These literary terms worksheets provide teachers and students with a selection of the most useful terms to know. Literary terms show up in English Literature classes beginning early in education, so it's important for students to master these terms. Many literary terms for poetry and prose overlap. One of the two printable worksheets focuses on definitions and the other emphasizes recognizing examples of literary terms. They can be used as a classroom activity, helpful study guide or review of the terms.

Literary Terms: Definition Worksheet

The purpose of this activity is to ensure that students can recognize the definitions of several common literary devices and terms.

Literary Term Definition Practice Questions

Some of the items from the printable are listed below for your convenience. Using a word from the word bank below, choose the word that best fits each of these definitions. The answers are given after the worksheet.

  1. A literary device that allows writers to show their audience-specific events that happened before the current action of the story.
  2. A category system that literature falls into based on specific conventions that develop to characterize the differences.
  3. It can be verbal, situational or dramatic and has the result of the meaning, situation or action being one thing but meaning something different.
  4. A type of literary work that satirizes another work, its author, or the ideas presented.
  5. A type of literary device where an author ridicules specific people, groups or some aspect of society.
  6. Where a story takes place.
  7. A type of poem that has a specific rhyme and meter.
  8. A minor story that runs inside the main story.
  9. A concrete or physical object that represents an abstract concept.
  10. How the writer feels about his subject that comes through based upon the types of words chosen.

Word Bank











Printable Literary Terms Definitions Worksheet

The printable worksheet below has more than 20 fill-in-the-blank items to test students' knowledge of key literary terms along with an answer key.

literary terms worksheet definitions

Literary Terms Definitions Worksheet

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Answers to Literary Term Definitions Practice Questions

The correct responses to the practice question definitions above are:

  1. flashback
  2. genre
  3. irony
  4. parody
  5. satire
  6. setting
  7. sonnet
  8. subplot
  9. symbol
  10. tone

Literary Terms: Examples Worksheet

The purpose of this activity is to verify that students are able to correctly identify examples of literary devices and terms.

Literary Term Examples Practice Questions

Some of the worksheet items are listed below. Simply match each example with one of the literary terms from the word bank. Note that not all terms from the word bank are used in this activity.

  1. Time is money.
  2. The house stared angrily at its new occupants.
  3. western, science fiction, documentary
  4. A flag that represents freedom.
  5. greed, love, sadness

Word Bank







Literary Term Examples Worksheet

This worksheet features 12 matching or fill-in-the-blank items with a word bank. It also includes an answer key.

literary terms worksheet examples

Literary Terms Examples Worksheet

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Answers to Literary Term Examples Practice Questions

The correct answers to the examples practice items are:

  1. metaphor
  2. personification
  3. genre
  4. symbol
  5. theme

Learning Literary Terms

The best way to learn about literary terms and figurative language is to use them in the context of reading or watching plays, movies or television shows. They may not make sense individually. However, when telling a story, they become an indispensable part of understanding the plot from beginning to end. For more detailed information on how to teach literary terminology, review this literary terms lesson plan.