Lesson Plan

Soulful Similes and Musical Metaphors

Baby, you're a firework! In this musical lesson, your students will use context clues to determine the meaning of similes and metaphors in popular music. They will then use this knowledge to write their own metaphors and similes.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Similes with Linking Words pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Similes with Linking Words pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify and determine the meaning of metaphors and similes.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(15 minutes)
  • To begin, introduce the key terms to your class, giving them examples of each figure of speech. Explain that a simile is used to compare two things with the words like or as. For example: "She smells as sweet as a rose." Explain that a metaphor is used to make a more implied or hidden comparison by using descriptions in a figurative way. For example: "She is a winter rose."
  • Tell your class that they will be listening for metaphors and similes in the lyrics, or words, of a song.
  • Play the song "Firework" by Katy Perry and show students the lyrics to the song.
  • Have a short discussion with students about what they think the song means. Possible discussion questions include: What does the word firework mean in this context? Why? What clues lead you to that conclusion?


  • Offer simplified questions, like "Can a person actually be a firework?" to help students understand that figurative language is not meant to be taken literally.
  • Provide sentence frames to help students participate in the class discussion.


  • Explain idioms that come up in the song (e.g., "six feet under," "own the night," "house of cards").