Lesson Plan

Making Sense of Metaphors

Use this lesson to help your ELs identify and understand the meaning of metaphors. It can be a stand-alone lesson or used as support for the lesson What's a Metaphor?
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the What's a Metaphor? lesson plan.
View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the What's a Metaphor? lesson plan.



Students will be able to identify metaphors in a textual context and identify their meaning.


Students will be able to recognize and use linking verbs in metaphors using word banks and sentence frames for support.


(2 minutes)
Graphic Organizer Template: Frayer ModelTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceWriting Metaphors with Linking VerbsReading & Understanding MetaphorsVocabulary Cards: Making Sense of MetaphorsGlossary: Making Sense of Metaphors
  • Tell students that today they will be learning to identify metaphors. Write the content objective on the board in student friendly language, such as, "I can recognize and understand metaphors."
  • Write the word metaphor in large letters in the center of a piece of chart paper and use it as a "brain dump."
    • Give students a minute of thinking time to silently consider what they know (or want to know) about metaphors.
    • Tell students to turn and talk to an elbow partner about what they know (or want to know).
    • Call on volunteers to share the background knowledge, examples, and questions that they shared with (or heard from) their partner.
    • Record student responses on the chart paper surrounding the word "metaphor." Add key facts to the brain dump to supplement student responses if needed (i.e., metaphors can be found in poems, songs, and stories).
  • Keep the "brain dump" displayed throughout the lesson and add to it as other questions arise. (Note: leave some blank space on the chart paper to be used at the end of the lesson.)