Midland Magic - A Journey Through the World of Figurative Language

Understanding words used to heighten or color meaning, words used to create a special effect, idea, image, or feeling.

About Michael Anella



Michael Anella is the creator of Whisper Words®, a teaching / learning technique, receiving a registered trademark in 2003.  He has been an educator for 39 years working with children in grades three through seven, and developed Whisper Words® in 1990.  Mr. Anella has taught in Europe, Michigan, and several districts in California, as well as working in an administrative capacity.

In 2003, Mr. Anella was recognized for teaching excellence as a recipient of the Hats Off to Teachers award sponsored by the San Diego County Office of Education.

Mr. Anella received his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, and an Administrative Credential from San Diego State University.  

Teaching Strategy


Midland Magic -  A Journey Through the World of Figurative Language takes readers through one school day at Midland Elementary School.  From morning recess to afternoon dismissal, figurative language becomes literal.  When chaos breaks out, only the Reading Buddies® are able to restore order at school. 

At the time of Midland Magic’s publication, Mr. Anella was teaching 4th grade at Midland.  Midland Elementary School is in the Poway Unified School District in North San Diego County, California.  His final six years were spent at Oak Valley Middle School teaching 6th grade math and science.  Mr. Anella retired in 2015 after a career spanning 39 years.

Email: MrAnella@aol.com

Reading Buddies®


...as stories are read aloud at home or in the classroom, figurative language is used throughout literature to make stories come alive. Frequently,  children have not been introduced to
figurative language, or have not yet mastered the “hidden meaning” of these words or phrases.  With the help of Reading Buddies®, and through active participation, children use hand signals to acknowledge the hidden meaning of these essential figures of speech.

Email: MrAnella@aol.com



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