Similes are a fun lesson when teaching about different types of figurative language. I love teaching about similes with third grade. They are old enough to understand the abstract thought and can appreciate the humor in the double meanings. An epic way to describe a funny situation when taken literally, there are many examples of books, anchor charts, and other learning aids to use for instruction.
What is a simile?
The official definition of a simile is a noun that means: “a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.”
Using speech that expresses multiple meanings will strengthen students’ writing skills.
Plus, it’s just fun to say “busy as a bee” or “fast like a cheetah.”
Of course there are lots of different options for spicing up their writing prompts, using personification, metaphors, and others too!
When students are able create sentences that include some depth, then you are really able to see how good their writing can become.
List of simile examples
- Black as coal
- Cold as ice
- Like a dream
- Blind as a bat
- Eat like a bird
- Clean as a whistle
- Like fingernails on a chalkboard
- Clear as mud
- Flat as a pancake
- White as snow
- Free as a bird
- Sleep like a log
- Sweet as pie
- Hungry as a bear
- Light as a feather
- Proud as a peacock
- Quick as lightning
- Fight like cats and dogs
- Good as gold
- Sick as a dog
- Easy as ABC
- Like two peas in a pod
- Straight as an arrow
- Wise as an owl
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.
Here’s my Simile Me:
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!
Simile Songs, Poems, and Worksheets
- Winter Simile Poems
- Explore Metaphors and Similes with Color Poems
- Simile Rainbow
- Out of This World Similes
- Simile Worksheet & KEY for Middle Grades
- Interactive Reading Notebooks ~ Free Bonus Lesson #3 ~ Similes
- Simile Song
- “Mean” by Taylor Swift: Similes, Inferences, Imagery with Anti-Bullying Message
- Similes and Metaphors in Songs
- Simile Posters
- “Firework” by Katy Perry Poetry Terms Figurative Language
- Similes and Metaphors anchor charts
Linda Stanek is a children’s author, blogger, and frequent visiting teacher in schools. You can learn more at www.lindakstanek.com.