Lesson Plan

Similes and Metaphors

Exploring , understanding and creating similes and metaphors using digital technology.
Eibhlin R.
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning

Students will be able to...

  • Identify similes and metaphors in writing
  • Differentiate between similes and metaphors
  • Interpret the meanings of similes and metaphors in context
  • Create their own simile and metaphor poems
  • Discuss and explain the literary effect of similes and metaphors in writing
English Language Arts
Grades 5 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/ Attention Getter

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  • Display virtual padlet wall on smartboard with a title "Family Comparisons".
  • Explain to the students that they must each compare a member of their family to a type of food and explain why their family member is like that food in one sentence. Provide the children with examples to scaffold instruction.
  • Provide the students with five minutes to compose their sentence and share it on the Padlet virtual wall. This fun, activity will serve as an engaging hook into the lesson content. 
  • Discuss the students' responses as recorded on the virtual Padlet wall. Draw the students' attention to ways in which different comparisons are similar, eg. the use of "like" or "as".
  • Explain to the class that they will be learning about two specific types of comparisons used in figurative writing  called "similes and metaphors". Elicit prior knowledge the students may have about these terms.
Student Instructions
  • In one sentence compare a member of your family to a type of food and explain why your chosen family member is like that food. Here are some examples:

-"My sister is like a glass of lemonade because she is full of fizz".

- "My brother is a bunch of grapes because he likes hanging around with his friends".

  • Post your sentence on the class Padlet wall.

2 Direct Instruction

  • Display Metaphor Vs. Simile Prezi on the Smartboard. Discuss each slide with the class. Elicit responses as to what each example of simile or metaphor means. Watch clip from "Forest Gump" and ask children to "Think, Pair, Share" as whether the "Life is like a box of chocolates" comparison is a simile or metaphor and to discuss the meaning of this comparison.
  • Play the youtube video entitled "Similes and Metaphors in Pop Songs". After each song extract pause the video, and ask children to respond on their devices using the Poll Everywhere  app as to whether they have just heard a i). simile, ii). metaphor, iii). no comparison in the song extract. Discuss responses using poll data shown on the Smartboard.
Student Instructions
  • We are going to learn precisely exactly what "similes" and "metaphors" by exploring this Prezi together. 
  • Questioning throughout: Can you think of any common similes/metaphors you have heard before? What do you think this simile/metaphor means? Why do you think that? Watch the Forest Gump clip.....With your partner I would like you to discuss whether you just hear a simile or a metaphor in the clip? With you partner, I would like you to discuss what you think Forest means by this metaphor?
  • Open up our class Poll Everywhere page using the code "....." .I am going to play a number a short excerpts from pop songs. After you hear each song excerpt, a question will appear on your screen asking you whether you heard a ). simile, ii). metaphor, iii). no comparison in the song. Click whichever answer you think is correct.

3 Guided Practice

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  • Provide students with a stanza from each of three poems including "The Base Stealer" (Robert Francis), "IThe Daffodils" (William Wordsworth) and "Caged Bird" (Maya Angelou". Children engage in a simile/ metaphor scavenger hunt in pairs.
  • Create Padlet wall with two columns "similes" and "metaphors". Instruct children to type any similes/metaphors found in the scavenger hunt on the appropriate section of the Padlet wall.
  • Discuss students' responses to the scavenger hunt.
Student Instructions
  • Here are three stanzas- each one from a very famous poem.  With your partner highlight as many similes or metaphors in each stanza as you can find.
  • When you find a simile or metaphor, type it in a comment box on  our Padlet wall and drag the comment box under to the appropriate column- simile or metaphor.

4 Independent Practice

  • Instruct children that they will write a poem based on the four seasons using similes and metaphors. 
  • Ask children to compose a simile and metaphor which describes each season. Brainstorm examples to scaffold understanding. 
  • Using their similes and metaphors, children compose a four stanza poem, with a stanza for each season.
  • Once children have composed seasonal poem, ask them to find pictures on google images which depict some of their similes/metaphors and upload each image to a  single slide on Voicethread.
  • Instruct children to audio record themselves reciting their poem on Voicethread. Demonstrate on the whiteboard how each audio recording should accompany the appropriate picture.
Student Instructions
  • In your writing copies compose a simile and metaphor which describes each season of the year. 
  • Create a poem using your similes/metaphors with a stanza for each season.
  • Find a picture on google images which depicts each of your similes/metaphors.
  • Upload your chosen images to a new Voicethread entry. Create a different slide for each photo.
  • Record yourself reciting each stanza of the poem on the same slide as the appropriate photo. For example, I would record myself reciting the winter stanza on the slide with my winter pictures.

5 Wrap Up

  • Assign children into groups. Instruct students to listen and view their group members' poem on Voicethread. Instruct children to respond to their group members' poem using "Two Stars and a Wish" in the comment boxes.
  • Share link to Voicethread postings on the classblog, and ensure parents have access to the postings.
  • Instruct children to ask their parents to listen, view and respond to their simile/metaphor poems and comment as part of their homework.
Student Instructions
  • Listen and view the Season poem written by each member of your group.
  • Comment at the end of the poem using "Two Stars and a Wish"- sharing two positive things you recognized in their poem and making one suggestion as to how they could improve their poem.
  • For homework, ask your parents to view your poem using the link on the class blog. Ask your parent to write one feedback comment to the Voicethread.