Every student is unique. This lesson emphasizes that uniqueness by having young learners use similes to share some of the traits that make them special. It features Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood and a fantastic storyboard exercise.
Students will be able to identify and write their own similes.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Begin the lesson by asking your students to think about what type of people they are.
- State some adjectives, e.g. funny or quiet, and ask students to stand up whenever they believe your word describes them.
- Explain that the words you stated are adjectives, or words that describe things.
- Ask students to share some adjectives that describe them. List these words on the board.
- Let the class know that you're going to read a story about a boy who describes himself with similes.
- Explain that a simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using "like" or "as."
- Read Quick as a Cricket aloud.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Ask students to recall some lines from the book that described the boy. If needed, give a few examples to jog their memories: large as a whale or nice as a bunny.
- Tell students that the similes in the book are examples of figurative language, or describing something by comparing it with something else.
- On the board, draw a bubble map with your name in the center. Fill in five bubbles with adjectives that describe you.
- Clarify that although the boy in the story only compares himself to animals, someone who wants to describe himself with figurative language can compare himself to anything at all.
- Under 2-3 of your adjectives, write continuations that turn them into similes. For example, under "loud," you can write "as a bell."
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Distribute a sheet of blank paper to each student.
- Have students draw bubble maps on the sheets, using your map as a model.
- Ask them to fill in their maps with adjectives that describe themselves.
- Remind them that they're free to use words from the list on the board.
- Once students are finished, distribute a copy of the Similes That Describe ME! storyboard and a box of colored pencils or crayons to each student.
- Let them know that they'll be using their chosen adjectives to make a storyboard.
Independent Working Time (25 minutes)
- Go over the instructions for filling in the storyboard. Students will write each of their similes on a set of lines, then add a matching illustration in the box above it.
- The sixth box should be filled with a picture like the one at the end of Quick as a Cricket (a self-portrait of the student).
- Have students complete their storyboards independently.
- Observe them as they work, and provide assistance as needed.
- Allow students to work independently on their webs and storyboards.
- Enrichment: Challenge advanced students to write more detailed similes. For example, instead of "loud as a bell," they can write "loud as a bell on the first day of school." Students who complete the storyboard assignment early can be given the Easy as Pie worksheet or Clear as Crystal worksheet to work on until time is up.
- Support: Struggling students can be asked to limit their objects of comparison to one category, e.g. animals or toys. Encourage these students to use dictionaries or thesauruses if they have trouble thinking up adjectives.
A document camera may be used to display student storyboards when sharing.
Related Books and/or Media
- VIDEO: Quick as a Cricket by ClassroomTheater
Assessment (5 minutes)
- As you observe students, keep an eye out for any common difficulties they may have.
- Collect the storyboards at the end of the lesson. Review them later to gauge students' understanding of the lesson content.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Ask for volunteers to share their storyboards with the rest of the class.
- Encourage students to give feedback and ask questions each time a student shares his storyboard.