Kids love anything ridiculous. Help them get to grips with metaphors and similes with this silly game. They draw a picture of the metaphor or simile, which helps them understand that the words put a picture, or 'image' in the reader's head. Left and below are two I did earlier, by vandalising a Vogue magazine with a felt pen, camera - and half an onion.
'Mr Gum leapt out of bed like a guilty onion.' Andy Stanton (above). This is a simile as it uses like (or as).
'She looked at him with black fire in her eyes.' David Walliams (right). This is a metaphor as it suggests that there IS black fire in her eyes.
+ Get a more detailed explanation about metaphors here with podcast
+ Find out more about metaphors on Prezi here.
To help your child remember - and understand - the difference between metaphors and similes, get them to draw these:
My brother is like a cow*.
My brother is a cow*.
Then ask them 'what's the effect?' and 'what's the difference?'
* alter as appropriate
You can also play a game where you transform similes into metaphors, and vice versa. The more you practise, the easier it gets. Talk to your child about the effect. Ask which they prefer and why. The benefit of this is that while most kids can put similes in their writing, very few can do metaphors. This game teaches them how to construct a metaphor.
e.g. original: Her skirt was like a wilted cabbage leaf. >
Her skirt was a wilted cabbage leaf. (metaphor)
original: The roses in her cheeks are faded. >
Her cheeks were like faded roses. (simile)
The author, Melanie Kendry, is an Oxford graduate, outstanding-rated English Language and Literature teacher and of ages 10-18 in the British education system. In 2012, she was nominated for Pearson's Teaching Awards. As a private tutor, she raises grades often from C to A. Her writing is also featured in The Huffington Post. She offers private tuition in the Haywards Heath area, West Sussex.