As far as teaching similes, I don’t think you’ll find a better mentor text than My Dog Is as Smelly as Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven.
After explaining to students that a simile is made when you use like or as to make a comparison, share this book to drive the point home. Afterward, allow students to create their own simile-collage of themselves, a pet, or family member, using magazine pictures, crayons or markers, and their own words.
First, have students write 5 words that describe their subject. Then, let them peruse magazines and catalogs, looking for examples of the things in their description. They won’t be able to find all the words they want, since they will be limited to the pictures in the magazines they have, but they should be able to find some things they can use. If they find a picture that makes them think if a better simile, let them make a change.
I’m as busy as a timer,
As creative as a stained glass window,
As hardworking as an elephant,
As happy as a well-loved dog,
And as sleepy as a pillow.
The results will be fun and hilarious, creating a lesson your students will not soon forget. In the future, encourage them to use simile (perhaps in a more serious way) in their writing. Have fun!
Linda Stanek is a children’s author, blogger, and frequent visiting teacher in schools. You can learn more at www.lindakstanek.com.