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Simile Strings: A Lesson in Figurative Language

Methods & Management for Middle School

 

Simile Strings: A Lesson in Figurative LanguageIn trying to teach figurative language, I usually run into the problem of metaphor. Middle school students have a horrible time wrapping their heads around metaphors, much less the DIFFICULT assignment of understanding extended metaphors.

Metaphors are so abstract that their brains have a hard time processing them, so I’ve decided to start with something I call simile strings.

Introducing Simile Strings

I define a simile string as several similes all related to one topic.  These are much like an extended metaphor, but a little easier because kids can still rely on “like” or “as” which, for some reason, makes them more comfortable.

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To introduce the concept of simile strings, I use the following two songs because they use simile strings in their choruses:

 

 

 

Simile String Assignment

I then put the kids to work on creating their own simile strings with these specifications:

  • One Topic (love, school, mom ... anything as long as it is ONE topic)
  • 5 similes about that topic
  • A finished product using Picnik to graphically illustrate their strings

Check out my blog post to learn how I use Picnik in the classroom.

What tips do you have for teaching figurative language? Share in the comments section!