Get Metaphor and Simile Savvy Through Writing Activity

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Updated on Apr 5, 2016

Literary devices are an important aspect of becoming a more effective and creative writer. As your kids improve their writing skills, they will need to be able to incorporate concepts such as simile, metaphor and personification. This activity will give your kids valuable practice using these concepts in their writing. Before long, using terms like metaphors will be a piece of cake!

What You Need:

  • Pencil
  • Paper

What You Do:

  1. Review the following terms with your child and make sure they’re clear. Metaphor: a figure of speech that compares two different things to each other that have similar characteristics. For example: “that homework assignment was a breeze” suggests that the homework was easy. Simile: a comparison of two different things using the terms “like” or “as.” For example: “he is a slow as a turtle.” Personification: a figure of speech that gives human characteristics to objects or non-humans. For example: “the wind howled through the trees. “The sun hid behind the clouds.”
  2. For the first part of the activity, your child will practice using metaphors and similes in a sentence. Choose a hobby that your child has, such as a sport or fine arts activity. Ask your child to use a few adjectives to describe the hobby. For example, basketball is exciting, our team is good, our coach is tough. Now ask your child to try to use those adjectives as inspiration to write some sentences using metaphors. For instance, are your coach tough as nails? Is your point guard as fast as a rocket? After your child has written about 5 sentences, ask him to identify which ones are metaphors and which ones are similes. Assess whether he understands the difference between them.
  3. Next, move onto personification. Ask your child to look outside and around the room and write down ten words that are objects, such as trees, clouds, stars, and the sun. Then ask your child to describe those objects and imagine what they would be like if they could do things that humans can do. As a hint, have him think about using verbs to describe actions that the objects could take if they were personified. Then practice writing some sentences using personification. For example, “the stars winked at me from the sky.” Check the sentences to make sure each one properly incorporates personification to ensure he is grasping the concept.
Kate Smith has been a teacher since 1997. She has taught in New York and California, with experience in all subjects and grades from 1 to 12, but the heart of her expertise lies in middle school, primarily English and Journalism. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University.

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