Lesson Plan

Analyzing the Use of Similes and Metaphors

Objectives

This lesson explores the literary devices of simile and metaphor. Students will:

  • review the definitions of simile and metaphor.
  • identify examples of similes and metaphors in poetry.
  • create original similes and metaphors to demonstrate understanding of figurative language.
  • interpret the use of similes and metaphors.

Essential Questions

How do learners develop and refine their vocabulary?
What strategies and resources do I use to figure out unknown vocabulary?
What strategies and resources does the learner use to figure out unknown vocabulary?
Why learn new words?
  • How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?
  • Why learn new words?
  • What strategies and resources do readers use to figure out unknown vocabulary?
  • How do learners develop and refine their vocabulary?

Vocabulary

  • Figurative Language: Language that cannot be taken literally because it was written to create a special effect or feeling.
  • Metaphor: A figure of speech that compares two unlike objects or ideas without using the words like or as.
  • Simile: A figure of speech that compares two unlike objects or ideas, using the words like or as.
  • Poetry: Writing that aims to present ideas and evoke an emotional experience in the reader through the use of meter, imagery, connotative and concrete words.

Duration

45–90 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.

Materials

  • Ankylosaurus” from Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast byJack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, 1992. This poem uses easily identifiable similes and metaphors to describe the main character. Alternative examples include the following:
    • It’s Raining Pigs &Noodles by Jack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, 2005.
    • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 2009.
    • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 2004.
    • Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 1996.
    • If Kids Ruled the School: More Kids’ Favorite Funny School Poems by Bruce Lansky. Meadowbrook Creations, 2004.
    • The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today’s Child compiled by Jack Prelutsky. Random House, 1983.
    • My Hippo Has the Hiccups: And Other Poems I Totally Made Up by Kenn Nesbitt. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009.
    • The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury compiled by Jack Prelutsky. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1999.
    • For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone compiled by Jack Prelutsky. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1991.
    • Teachers may substitute other books or poems with easily identifiable similes and metaphors to provide a range of reading and level of text complexity.
  • chart paper
  • plastic sandwich bags
  • activity cards for similes and metaphors (L-5-4-1_Similes and Metaphors.docx)

Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

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  • Ankylosaurus” from Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast byJack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, 1992. This poem uses easily identifiable similes and metaphors to describe the main character. Alternative examples include the following:
    • It’s Raining Pigs &Noodles by Jack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, 2005.
    • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 2009.
    • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 2004.
    • Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 1996.
    • If Kids Ruled the School: More Kids’ Favorite Funny School Poems by Bruce Lansky. Meadowbrook Creations, 2004.
    • The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today’s Child compiled by Jack Prelutsky. Random House, 1983.
    • My Hippo Has the Hiccups: And Other Poems I Totally Made Up by Kenn Nesbitt. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009.
    • The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury compiled by Jack Prelutsky. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1999.
    • For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone compiled by Jack Prelutsky. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1991.
    • Teachers may substitute other books or poems with easily identifiable similes and metaphors to provide a range of reading and level of text complexity.
  • chart paper
  • plastic sandwich bags
  • activity cards for similes and metaphors (L-5-4-1_Similes and Metaphors.docx)

Formative Assessment

  • View

    During the lesson, keep the focus on identifying and interpreting similes and metaphors.

    • Observe students while they work in small groups. Record anecdotal notes and information about their participation and their knowledge of similes and metaphors. If necessary, review figurative language in picture books with the class or with individual students or small groups. Students’ ability to categorize and distinguish similes and metaphors will indicate their degree of comprehension.
    • Use the following checklist to evaluate students’ understanding:
      • Student defines similes and metaphors.
      • Student identifies similes and metaphors in poetry.
      • Student interprets the use of similes and metaphors.
      • Student writes original similes and metaphors.

Suggested Instructional Supports

  • View
    Active Engagement, Explicit Instruction
    W: Help students activate their prior knowledge of similes and metaphors, interpret similes and metaphors in poetry, and use these literary devices in their own writing. 
    H: Engage students by having them categorize statements as similes or metaphors.  
    E: Guide students to explore figurative language in a variety of poetry books and apply their knowledge of similes and metaphors by writing their own examples. 
    R: Allow students to apply what they have learned about similes and metaphors to identity these devices in poetry, fiction text, and their own reading materials. 
    E: Provide opportunities for students to work in small groups to share their work and revise examples if necessary. 
    T: Provide additional support for students who need help with identifying similes and metaphors and allow students to extend their thinking to a higher level by creating their own poetry using similes and metaphors.  
    O: The learning activities in this lesson provide for large-group instruction and discussion, small-group exploration, partner interaction, and individual application of the concepts. 

Instructional Procedures

  • View

    Focus question: How do authors use similes and metaphors to enhance their writing?

    Before the lesson, place the simile and metaphor activity cards in plastic sandwich bags (L-5-4-1_Similes and Metaphors.docx). Make enough bags for small groups of three or four students to each have ten cards.

    Write the words similes and metaphors on the board/interactive whiteboard. Distribute a bag of activity cards to small groups of students. Say, “Inside the plastic bag, you will find ten different cards with statements on them. Try to place the cards into two separate categories, using your background knowledge of similes and metaphors.”

    Part 1

    After students have categorized their cards, review the answers. Then say, “What are the characteristics of similes?” (use of the words like or as to compare two unlike things) “What are the characteristics of metaphors?” (compare two unlike things without using the words like or as) Write the following definitions on the board/interactive whiteboard:

    • Simile: A figure of speech that compares two unlike objects or ideas, using the words like or as.
    • Metaphor: A figure of speech that compares two unlike objects or ideas without using the words like or as.

    Read aloud the poem Ankylosaurus.” Have students identify the similes and metaphor used in the poem and interpret their meanings. Guide students to identify the following:

    Similes:

    • Ankylosaurus was built like a tank. (This simile means the ankylosaurus was very large and powerful.)
    • Its hide was a fortress as sturdy as steel. (This simile means the animal’s skin was so strong that it protected the animal like a metal barrier.)

    Metaphor:

    • Its tail was a cudgel of gristle and bone. (This metaphor means its tail was very hard and rough.)

    Provide a sheet of chart paper and one of the poetry books in the Materials section of this lesson plan to small groups of students. Have students work together to identify five similes and five metaphors and record them on the chart paper. Guide students to explain which unlike objects are being compared and the meaning of each simile and metaphor.

    Say, “With a partner, discuss why you think authors use similes and metaphors in their writing.” Reinforce the understanding that authors use similes and metaphors to make their writing more interesting and descriptive and to help readers use their senses to understand text.

    Part 2

    Write the following examples on the board/interactive whiteboard and ask students to interpret them:

    Simile: The cat was as soft as a silky blanket. (The two unlike objects being compared are a cat and a blanket. This simile means that the cat had very soft fur.)

    Metaphor: The cat is the best medicine for the sick child. (The cat is being compared to medicine. This metaphor means that the cat makes the sick child feel better.)

    Have students brainstorm a variety of unlike objects. Record the pairs of objects on the board/interactive whiteboard. Then have students write a simile or a metaphor to express each kind of comparison for two unlike objects from the list.

    Discuss why similes and metaphors appeal to the senses. (to help the reader gain understanding of the text) Then have students use their senses to create a color poem. Explain that each line of the poem should include a simile that relates to one of the senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch). The last line of the poem should include a metaphor. Provide students with the following example:

    RED

    Red looks like a fire burning with rage on a cold winter night.

    Red sounds like a volcano spewing boulders from its top.

    Red smells like a bright rose in full bloom on a summer morning.

    Red tastes like cinnamon candy warming my mouth with each bite.

    Red feels like the sting of a mosquito bite.

    Red is a balloon that makes a child’s heart sing.

    Tell students that their color poems do not have to rhyme. Have each student provide an interpretation of the comparisons in his/her poem.

    Extension:

    • Have students who need additional practice work with a partner to create similes. One student provides the first part of the simile (e.g., quiet as a _________), and the other student completes the comparison (e.g., mouse, stone). Then have students switch roles. Have each pair of students write a list of their similes and explain the qualities that are expressed by the comparisons. In a similar way, students may create and explain metaphors.
    • Have students who are ready to move beyond the standard practice identify similes and metaphors in songs or commercials.

Related Instructional Videos

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Final 05/31/2013
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