Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making Metaphors/Similes



"You need a camera. A real one. Trust me: your pathetic little cellphone will die out there like a whiny vegan in a Vegas steakhouse." --Mark Morford August 22, 2012 SFGate .


To the Teacher: Students are very aware of metaphors and similes in everyday conversation but might not have the vocabulary to conceptualize how they work.

If you intend to make the clear distinction between the two (although we read more often about metaphorical language which includes both) then you might want to change some of the ones below to direct comparisons..

Ex. Our mind is a garden growing new ideas if we feed it well. .

Class query: How do we feed our minds? What would be junk food TV and what would be a balanced meal for our minds? .

Our mind is like a sponge, our eyes and ears help it absorb information. .

Class query: How does the word absorb help the simile to work better?.

It’s important that students register the important point that we are making comparisons between UNLIKE things that might share a poetic or visual connection..

Class query: The ape swung through the trees like a monkey is a poor simile. Why? .
He looks just like his brother is not a simile at all. Can you explain why? .

The exercise below is meant to expand student creativity, to get them to use more figurative language without depending on cliches. Also it is an exercise with no right answers....just some that are more vivid than others. You’ll be able to tell who gets the concept. At the end of the lesson, teach the definitions of abstract and concrete. The students will already have been using both . As students complete the sheet they may volunteer to put their favorite on the board (after showing it to you) or may illustrate one they find amusing to picture (for extra credit, and to keep them occupied while others are still working) .

Forced Comparisons ______________(name) .

Do what you can with the following word challenges....

(Do at least three of the first five) .

l. A teacher is like a squeegie mop because .

2. A politician is like a Christmas stocking .

3. A gun is like a flower .

4. A museum is like an eraser .

5. A stranger is like a melon .

(Do at least four of the following eight).

1. ___________________ is like a Q-tip.

2. _____________________ is like a worn pair of jeans.

3. ______________________ is like Scotch tape.

4. ______________________ is like a popsicle.

(choose an object to compare to the following abstractions and explain each, using a semi colon instead of the word ‘because’) .

5. Time is like ____________________________ .

6. Education is like _______________________.

7. Jealousy is like ________________________.

8. Imagination is like ________________________.