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Simple Similes and Marvelous Metaphors

Time Frame

1 class periods of 60 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills



Megan Reese


This lesson teaches about the simile and metaphor. Examples are given in prose and poetry, definitions are established, and then the students will practice usage of them in a writing assignment.


You will need 6 large pieces of butcher paper (or however many your class requires to have students in groups of no more than 4). A dictionary definition of both simile and metaphor are absolutely required. The black or white board will also be used.

Student Prior Knowledge

The simile and metaphor should already be somewhat familiar, as you have previously read and point out these literary tools in poetry or prose you read as a class. So, listening is a must; reading critically is also a needed skill for your students, although it will continue to be developed.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to easily distinguish between a simile and metaphor, recognize them in the texts they read, and be able to use them proficiently in their writing.

Instructional Procedures

First write on the board the definitions of metaphors and similes. Read one example of poetry to the class that has similes and metaphors in it (Shel Silverstein, etc.). Then read a paragraph from a novel the students are reading or have recently read as a class. Then, hand out photocopies of both, and have the students read along with you and underline all the similes in red. Read the excerpts again and have them underline the metaphors in purple. After this is done, divide the students into groups of four, and hand them the magazine picture and piece of butcher paper. Their task is to create their own metaphor or simile to describe the magazine picture, and illustrate it in a creative, wacky way (literally drawing what their words are saying) on the pieces of butcher paper. Give them fifteen minutes to complete this task, and have one person be specifically assigned as scribe, one to write down the metaphor or simile on a sheet of paper, two artists, and one as spokesperson. Spend the remainder of the class time having the groups present their pictures and similes/metaphors to the class, having the class guess which they chose without giving it away beforehand.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

The homework assignment is a great way for the gifted student to express their creativity. The drawing portion of the assignment can be great for special needs students, for they can assist in this aspect and have a more hands-on approach to learning the lesson objectives.


For homework, assign the students to write their own descriptive paragraph or poem, that uses at least four similes and four metaphors.

Created: 01/08/2004
Updated: 01/18/2018