Lesson 1: Similes
- Learning Goal
- Identify similes and explain their meaning.
- Approximately 50 minutes
- Necessary Materials
• “The Lightning Strike” Passage
• “The Surprise Party” Passage
• “The Surprise Party” Answer Key
• “Examples of Similes” Handout
• “Similes” Worksheet
will explain the meaning of similes (figurative language that compares two unlike objects by using the words “like,” “as,” or “than”). A simile is a phrase or statement that compares two different things by using the words “like” or “as.” Authors may use similes to put clear images into a reader’s head. I will give three examples of similes. I will identify the things being compared and the similes’ meaning. (You may use the “Examples of Similes” handout in Texts & Materials to present these examples.) Examples: “The snow is like a blanket.” “The bread is as hard as nails.” “The riverbed is as dry as a bone.” I will read the passage “The Surprise Party” (included in Texts & Materials) aloud. I will identify the similes in the passage and explain their meaning. For example, in the first sentence the author compares Grace’s mouth to a bus. The author writes that “Grace has a mouth as big as a bus.” We know that statement is a simile because it uses the word “as” to make a comparison. What does the simile mean? We know Grace’s mouth isn’t really as big as a bus because that is impossible. Buses are too big. When people say someone “has a big mouth,” it means that person talks about things that are supposed to be kept secret. The author must mean that Grace is someone who tells secrets.
Ask: How did I identify a simile in the story, and how did I figure out the simile’s real meaning? Students should respond that you used words such as "like" and "as" to help you find a sentence that compares two things. Then you thought about the comparison and what meaning the author was trying to give the reader.
will read the story “Lightning Strike.” Note: There are several similes in the story. Challenge students to identify them as you reread the text aloud. For each simile, ask students what is being compared. Then ask what the meaning of the simile is. Here are some examples of similes in the story:
- Alex leapt out of the car like an antelope.
- The words hit Alex like hailstones, angering him further.
- At the end of the lane, the ball hit the pins with the sound of a thunderclap. They flew apart like startled geese.
will identify similes in the short passage in the "Similes" worksheet, what they compare, and their meaning. (The worksheet is included in Texts & Materials.)
|Tier 2 Word: ruin|
|Contextualize the word as it is used in the story||
"The party was supposed to be fun. Now it had been completely ruined."
|Explain the meaning student-friendly definition)||
To ruin means to damage or wreck something. If a party has been ruined, that means it has been spoiled and is no longer fun.
|Students repeat the word||Say the word ruin with me: ruin.|
|Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts||
Don’t ruin the movie by talking through it. If they build a store here, it will ruin the view from my window. Her dress was ruined when coffee spilled down the front of it. They claim that pollution is ruining the river.
|Students provide examples||
Tell me about something that has been ruined. How was it ruined? Here’s an example based on “The Surprise Party:” “The surprise was ruined when Grace told her mom about the party.”
|Students repeat the word again.||What word are we talking about? ruin|
|Additional Vocabulary Words||doom, order|
After reading "The Surprise Party," explain to students that hornets are insects and part of the wasp family. Hornets are predators that feed on other bugs, such as bees and flies. Hornets do not harm humans unless provoked, but their sting is painful. It normally causes the stung area to swell and turn red. Some people are allergic to the venom in a hornet’s sting, however. These people will have more serious reactions if they get stung. Use this information to help your class understand the phrase "mad as a hornet."
Texts & Materials
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