Similes Background Information for Teachers and Parents

Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about similes and figurative language. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Similes. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

Review with your children that a simile is a comparison that uses like or as. Remind children that when they compare, they show how things are similar. You may wish to connect the word simile to similar. We recommend watching the Synonyms and Antonyms movie together as a review. Offer different similes to your children and have them identify what is being compared and what each simile means. Similes often compare two very different things or employ exaggeration in order to make a point. Explain to your children that an exaggeration is a claim that something is greater than it actually is. Invite volunteers to give examples of exaggeration.

Present your children with different similes, such as “lips as red as roses” or “sly like a fox.” Discuss what the similes mean. If children have a tough time figuring out a simile, remind them to stop and think. What two things are being compared? What point is the writer trying to make? Children may wish to take notes and brainstorm ideas. It is important for young readers to stop and think as they read and not ignore or skip a challenging word or sentence. Similes are great ways for your children to make inferences, too. Remind them that whey they infer, they use what they know or see to come up with ideas. Have your children find similes in books and magazines or research the Internet.

Authors use similes to bring their writing to life. Similes can help illustrate or emphasize a point and drive the writer’s message across to the reader. For example, if someone is “as big as an elephant,” the reader can understand that the person is very big and tall. Obviously, the person is not actually the size of an elephant, but the reader can figure out that he or she is probably much bigger than average. Similes help make writing entertaining and colorful.

Encourage your children to come up with different similes and use them in conversation and as they write. Similes help children of all ages explore language and understand the power of literary devices in speech and writing.