Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Can You Figure Language?

Robin Ziel


Everyone always compares themselves to someone else, however, can they understand figurative language or compare two dissimilar objects? This lesson teaches similes and metaphors and how to understand and create them.


The student uses figurative language techniques to create and comprehend meaning (for example, similes, metaphors, analogies, anecdotes, sensory language).


-Dry erase board or chalkboard
-Dry erase marker or chalk
-Dry erase eraser or chalk eraser
-Simile and Metaphor Student Worksheet (See Associated File)
-Identify the Words and Meaning of Metaphors and Similes practice worksheet (See Associated File)


1. Make sure there is a dry erase board or chalkboard available.
2. Gather dry markers and an eraser, or chalkboard supplies.
3. Download and copy the proper number of student worksheets. (See Associated File)


1. Grab students' attention by looking over the classroom and physically comparing several of the students in the room. Talk briefly about other comparisons of interest to the group (i.e., sports figures, movie stars).

2.Teach the students the three basic vocabulary words for this lesson by listing all three using the front board of the classroom. The three vocabulary words and definitions to be listed are:
Figurative Language--a tool that an author uses to help the reader see what is happening in the story or poem;
Simile--a comparison using like or as;
Metaphor--states that one thing is something else making a comparison but does NOT use like or as.

3. Have the students copy the definitions directly from the board. Circulate in the classroom to ensure the students understand each word.

4. Give actual examples of similes and metaphors for discussion with the students. Hand out the Simile and Metaphor Student Worksheet (See Associated File) for additional examples. Give students the opportunity to fill in appropriate responses where available.

5. Distribute the practice worksheet, Identify the Words and Meaning of Metaphors and Similes (See Associated File), to each student. Allow about fifteen minutes for all the students to complete their individual worksheets using notebook paper to write responses on. Make sure to circulate the classroom to give feedback to individual students as they complete the practice worksheet.

6. Assign the students the task of writing three similes and three metaphors for class work or homework. Collect the next day if carried over for homework.


Evidence: Written examples of original, student-generated similes and metaphors (three of each).
Criteria: Students comprehend the different meanings between the figurative language techniques of similes and metaphors, understand their meaning within a phrase and are able to create original phrases.


ESOL/ESL or ESE students may work in pairs using peer-tutoring techniques.

Web Links

Web supplement for Can You Figure Language?
Kid's Poetry

This is a site where students can submit their own poetry.

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.