FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

Lesson 1

Simile and Metaphor

 

Figurative language is a tool that an author employs (or uses) to help the reader visualize (or see) what is happening in a story or poem. Some common types of figurative language are: simile, metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, idiom, puns, and sensory language. Below are some ways to introduce these concepts to your class and some activities. There are also links to other sites for more help.

Resources

The idea bank for thousands of similes

 

THE SIMILE

 

A simile is a comparison using like or as. It usually compares two dissimilar objects.

For example: His feet were as big as boats. We are comparing the size of feet to boats.

Using the poem below underline all of the similes. Decide which items are being compared.

(Simile)

Willow and Ginkgo

Eve Merriam

The willow is like an etching,

Fine-lined against the sky.

The ginkgo is like a crude sketch,

Hardly worthy to be signed.

The willow’s music is like a soprano,

Delicate and thin.

The ginkgo’s tune is like a chorus

With everyone joining in.

 

The willow is sleek as a velvet-nosed calf;

The ginkgo is leathery as an old bull.

The willow’s branches are like silken thread;

The ginkgo’s like stubby rough wool.

 

The willow is like a nymph with streaming hair;

Wherever it grows, there is green and gold and fair.

The willow dips to the water,

Protected and precious, like the king’s favorite daughter.

 

The ginkgo forces its way through gray concrete;

Like a city child, it grows up in the street.

Thrust against the metal sky,

Somehow it survives and even thrives.

My eyes feast upon the willow,

But my heart goes to the ginkgo.

 

THE METAPHOR

 

A metaphor states that one thing is something else. It is a comparison, but it does NOT use like or as to make the comparison.

For example: Her hair is silk. The sentence is comparing (or stating) that hair is silk.

 

Take a piece of blank white paper and fold it into fourths. In one block, write a simile and illustrate it. In the block immediately to the right, write the same sentence as a metaphor. Do the same for the other two blocks.

 

 

NAME ____________________

 

Identifying Similes and Metaphors

Poetry Worksheet #1

 

Decide whether each sentence contains a simile or a metaphor. Write the word SIMILE if the sentence contains a simile. Write the word METAPHOR if the sentence contains a metaphor.

 

1. The baby was like an octopus, grabbing at all the cans on the grocery store shelves.

2. As the teacher entered the room she muttered under her breath, "This class is like a three-ring circus!"

3. The giant’s steps were thunder as he ran toward Jack.

4. The pillow was a cloud when I put my head upon it after a long day.

5. I feel like a limp dishrag.

6. Those girls are like two peas in a pod.

7. The fluorescent light was the sun during our test.

8. No one invites Harold to parties because he’s a wet blanket.

9. The bar of soap was a slippery eel during the dog’s bath.

10. Ted was as nervous as a cat with a long tail in a room full of rocking chairs.

 

 

NAME ____________________

 

Identifying The Words and Meaning of Metaphors and Simile

Poetry Worksheet #2

On your own paper or the computer's word processor, find the metaphor and write it down, and write the words being compared on your paper. Write the meaning of the simile or metaphor based on the context of the sentence.

1. The baby was like an octopus, grabbing at all the cans on the grocery store shelves.

2. As the teacher entered the room she muttered under her breath, "This class is like a three-ring circus!"

3. The giant’s steps were thunder as he ran toward Jack.

4. The pillow was a cloud when I put my head upon it after a long day.

5. I feel like a limp dishrag.

6. Those girls are like two peas in a pod.

7. The fluorescent light was the sun during our test.

8. No one invites Harold to parties because he’s a wet blanket.

9. The bar of soap was a slippery eel during the dog’s bath.

10. Ted was as nervous as a cat with a long tail in a room full of rocking chairs.

 

Answers

Teacher's Lesson Plan using this student lesson

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