Using Similes and Metaphors in Writing


As on the other days begin with silent reading of quality children’s literature. Remind children who are beginning a new book to enter the date, title and author on their reading list page. If anyone started a new book ask them to share what technique the author used to begin the story. Allow children to share their personal reaction to the literature they were reading.


Whole class mini-lesson

Similes and Metaphors

  1. Put the two words on the board and ask if anyone knows what the words mean? Discuss the responses. Explain that similes and metaphors are used to make comparisons between two things and that good writers use them in their writing.

Similes use the words like and as e.g.

What two things are being compared? Discuss the children’s responses

Metaphors also make comparisons without using the words like/as e.g.

What two things are being compared? Discuss the children’s responses

  1. Put the overhead of the first page of Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell on the overhead. Ask children to silently read the first two paragraphs and see of they can find examples of either a simile or a metaphor. Have a child come up to the overhead and underline the example using an overhead marker. Invite children to discuss the comparisons and their effectiveness
  2. Repeat the procedure for paragraph 3.
  3. Repeat the procedure for paragraph 4 and 5.
  4. Use the page of The Little Drummer Boy from yesterday and ask them to find an example of a simile or metaphor.
  5. Ask children to open their library books and to read a couple of pages and see if they can identify some examples of similes and metaphors. Allow them to work in groups and to compile a group list: similes on left side of the page and metaphors on the right. Have them write the title of the book and the author’s name after the quote. Each child should also record the list for his or her folder. Give some time for feedback and discussion of the quotes discovered.
  6. Compare and contrast sentences containing similes and metaphors with sentences using adjectives and other descriptive language. Discuss usage of both.

Writing and Conferencing

Children open their writing folders and begin writing. Encourage children to consider using figurative language in their writing today. Spend the rest of the time circulating and chatting to children as they write. Comment specifically on aspects of the writing that demonstrate the child has applied some of the week’s mini-lesson ideas to their pieces. Question children and nudge details out of them. Consult your conference list and ensure you have spoken to different children over the course of the week. Allow the children to write uninterrupted for a period of time. When the time is almost up ask children to take a coloured pen and to proof-read their writing for the day. Encourage them to use the chart on the wall or the chart in their folders for reference.


Follow the same procedures as on previous days, continuing the routine. Invite children who have used a simile or a metaphor to share them and to explain how and why they chose those particular comparisons. Fill in the names of the children who share on your master sheet.


Finish up the writing session in the same manner as previous days. Remind children to make sure they have filled in their Title Tally.

Summary/Follow-up Work

Assessment Comments:

 Aim: That the child will be enabled to:

Receptiveness to language

  • Develop an appreciation for figurative language by listening to the teacher share examples of similes and metaphors and discussing when it is appropriate to use them.

Competence & confidence: using language

  • In co-operation with peers define a simile and a metaphor and identify examples of them in text

Developing cognitive abilities through language

  • Analyse a number of similes and metaphors
  • Compare and contrast figurative language with descriptive language and discuss the value of both in writing.

Emotional and imaginative development through language

  • Write their own original similes and metaphors and share them with an appreciative audience