Exploring Similes Lesson Plan: Enhancing Writing with Similes

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: 3-5, K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-5, students use BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. resources to identify and generate similes in a variety of contexts. Students will also explain the purpose of similes and their uses to enhance writing.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify and generate similes in a variety of contexts.
  2. Explain the purpose of similes and their uses to enhance writing.

Materials:

  • Computer and projector to watch the BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP movies

Vocabulary:

simile; compare; comparison; exaggeration; character; infer

Preparation:

Preview the BrainPOP Jr. Similes movie and BrainPOP Similes and Metaphors movie. You may also wish to read through the Background Information and Activities page to browse additional lesson ideas.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Introduce the topic by showing students the Similes movie from BrainPOP Jr.
  2. In the movie, Annie and Moby explore similes they've read in books. Ask the class to identify examples of similes they've read. Did students use any of Annie and Moby's strategies to determine a simile's meaning? You may choose to show examples from a text the class is currently reading or from one of the recommended books on the Read About It page.
  3. Click on the Game (no need to print the gameboard) and spin the virtual spinner. Challenge students to recall or create similes for each word that is spun, either as a whole-class discussion or with partners.
  4. As an activity for independent work or homework, ask each student to find and copy a sentence containing a simile (from a newspaper, online article, or book). Have students write why they think the author chose to use the simile, and how it helped them understand the piece of writing.
  5. The following day, discuss the similes students found and the common purposes the authors shared.
  6. Tell students you're going to show a movie from BrainPOP that explores how to use similes to make writing more interesting, and screen the Similes and Metaphors movie. You may choose to stop the movie as Tim and Moby begin exploring metaphors.
  7. Pull up the Activity page and click on the Graphic Organizer tab. In the middle section, type a topic relevant to one of your units of study and ask students to suggest similes that could be used when writing a poem, song, summary, or report about the topic. Record their ideas in the graphic organizer by typing directly into it.
  8. Assess understanding by having students write about the topic you brainstormed and challenge them to include at least 3 similes. Alternatively, you may have students review a prior piece of their own writing and revise it to include at least 3 similes.
  9. Have student volunteers share their work with the class. How did the use of similes make it easier to understand what was written? How did similes make the writing more exciting and engaging?

Extension Activity:

Provide students with a copy of the lyrics to a popular song. Ask students to find and highlight all the similes used. Afterward, discuss the activity with the class. Are similes commonly found in the words to songs? Why do you think song writers use them? Challenge students to create their own song lyrics that include similes!