Lesson Plan

Analyzing the Use of Similes and Metaphors


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Big Ideas




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 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?


  • 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.


45–90 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

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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)

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