Interest Building Activity:
Ask students to pick an object in the room and describe it. Choose one student to give their description first. They might say, for example, that the chalkboard is green. Now, tell them there is a way to describe it further. Say, “The chalkboard is as green as grass.” Tell them that this gives a more descriptive picture of what the chalkboard looks like.
Explain to students that they will be learning about similes in class today. A simile is a figure of speech used to compare two things to one another. Explain that a good way to remember simile is that it sounds like similar. The two things being described in a simile are being said to be similar. Explain that similes often have the words ‘as’ or ‘like’ in them. Read the story of Snow White to your students, and ask them to raise a quiet thumbs up if they think they hear a simile. When they do, write that simile on the board.
The similes in the story of Snow White are as follows:
“Child as lovely as the newly fallen snow”
“Hair as dark as night”
“Snow White grew as beautiful as the loveliest flower”
“Jealousy grew in her heart like a weed”
In all of these examples, two things are being compared. Ask students to think about what similes do for a sentence. They help to enhance the sentence by creating a mental picture. For example, the story could have simply said about the stepmother, “Jealousy grew in her heart.” And that would get the point across. However, the actual sentence that uses a simile, “Jealousy grew in her heart like a weed” is so much more descriptive, because you can imagine the jealous feelings growing quickly and out of control the way a weed does.
Now, pass out a worksheet where students will fill out a poem about themselves that uses similes. The poem should look like this:
I am like a (blank)
My hair is (blank) as (blank)
My eyes are (blank) as (blank)
I am (blank) as (blank)
Write out the poem on the board, filling in the blanks with your own words, as an example for the students.
Have students think of three of their own similes and write them out on paper.
As an extension of the lesson on similes, have your students think of similes to describe things they are learning about in their other classes. For example, they can describe the things they’re learning about in science, or events in social studies, using similes.