by Lyndsay Conroy

A metaphor is like a simile without the 'is'

Goals and Objectives


> Explore expressive materials that are read, heard, and viewed by:
...o making connections to related topics/information.
...o judging the effectiveness of tone, style, and use of language.
COMPETENCY GOAL: The learner will respond to various literary genres using interpretive and evaluative processes.
...o reading literature and other materials selected by the teacher.
> Study the characteristics of literary genres (fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry) through:
...o evaluating what impact genre-specific characteristics have on the meaning of the text.

Teacher-specified Objectives

Students Will:

  • Distinguish and identify metaphors and similes by reading poems of the Great Depression
  • Show their understanding by writing and sharing creative metaphors and similes
  • Share their creative metaphors and similes to the class to check for understanding


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Materials and Equipment

Poems to read as a class:  (attachment) 


Notes/Reminders to self

Make sure to have enough copies of the poems which will be analyzed in class as well as have a few metaphor and simile examples on hand in case further explanation is needed. 


Key Vocabulary/Concepts

Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between   them         

  • ex. Sam is a walking encyclopedia!

Simile: a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as.

  •  ex. This is bed is as hard as a rock! or She has cheeks like roses


Instructional Strategy


When discussing metaphors and similes, the board will be used to write out definitions and examples.  This will provide an opportunity for students to not only hear explanations, but also see it helping visual learners. 

A poem will be read and discussed during the class period.  When doing so, students will have their own copy which will help those who are visual learners.  Students will first read the poem to themselves and then outloud as a class again helping various types of learners (Auditory, visual etc...). 

When the time comes for students to write their own examples of metaphors and similes, the students will have the choice of working alone or with a partner allowing for collaboration for those who may be having trouble with the concept.

Pre-assessment will be a class discussion about metaphors and similes.  This will determine if the class can move forward based on how well the class is grasping both the metaphor and simile concept.  It will be determined if metaphors and similes will need to re-visited during the next class based on the students metaphor and simile examples (this will be the end assessment).

Focus and Review

An example of a metaphor and simile will be written on the board.  Students will be asked the following: Is there a difference between the two sentences on the board?  Once the class has distinguished the difference, a poem will be read aloud.  I will ask if they hear any sentences which are similiar to the first two examples we went over.  Students will then be asked to give an example of metaphors and similes. 

Statement of Objective

Today we will be learning about metaphors and similes.  They are both very similar concepts and can often be confused, but today we will learn the differences between them and how to distinguish the figurative vocabulary from one another.  A Great Depression poem will be read to help us distinguish between the two.  By the end of class, you will not only be able to distinguish a metaphor from a simile, but will have written several of your own. 

Sequence of Instruction

This lesson will primarily be student-centered.  The beginning of the class will give the students a chance to show what they already know about metaphors and similes.  Metaphors and similes will then be explained further with teacher input and a little more practice.  A Great Depression poem will be the focus during the first part of the class where students will identify the metaphors and similes in the poem and explain the difference between the two.  Other examples will be derived and written on the board by the class.  Here again, teacher input will take place, but primarily student run. 

Towards the last part of the class students will be come up with their own examples of metaphors and similes by choosing a word randomly from a hat.  Once they have written their simile or metaphor, students will read their examples outloud to wrap the class up.   


The end of the class will be devoted to students coming up with their own metaphor and simile examples.  Students will pick words from a hat determining what word they will be writing about.

  • An example of a word from the hat: cat/metaphor

Students will share their examples to the class.  Hopefully this will end the class in a lighthearted, even funny, manner while reviewing the importance of the lesson (to grasp the understanding of both metaphors and similes). 

The homework will be announced at this time.  Students will be asked to write a poem incorporating both similes and metaphors in it.  The attached link will be a guide for students will use to help them write their poem. 




Reflection on Lesson

Reflection attached