A simile uses the words "like" or "as" when making a comparison between two things that are not alike. The poetic device is an approach that can help communicate experiences and emotions that are beyond words.
Similes in Poetry
Children can write simile poems to describe a variety of items and situations in their lives. Some common topics include family members, favorite foods, sports or other hobbies, animals, themselves and common emotions.
My mom is like a fire.
She's always warm, but sometimes she gets too hot.
My brother is like a tornado.
He always moves fast and spreads destruction wherever he goes.
My sister is like a snowstorm.
She's pretty to look at and icy at times, but with a little bit of sunshine, that iciness melts.
Together we are like a partly cloudy day.
We have our moments of darkness and gloom, but the sun always peeks through.
Sadness Is. . .
As bleak as the sky when its cloudy and gray
As rough as the sea on a windy day
As tough as the skin on an elephant's trunk
As stinky as the smell of an angry skunk
As dark as the sky on a starless night
And it stings just as much as an animal's bite.
The basketball is an airplane,
It flies down the court heading
Straight for the basket.
The basketball is like a heartbeat
Pounding rhythmically on the
The basketball is as smooth as butter
As it slides out of my hands and
Into the basket.
Collections of Simile Poems and other Resources for Children
- The book Stubborn as a Mule and Other Silly Similes by Nancy Jean Loewen introduces children to similes with humorous illustrations.
- While not a poem, Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story by Loreen Leedy will help children understand the idea of how to write a simile poem.
- My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits by Hanoch Piven contains simile poems and other descriptions of family members that contain humorous similes.
Simile Lessons and Activities
Lessons and activities that include similes can be great fun whether you plan to use them for literature unit studies in a homeschool curriculum or for pure enjoyment. Similes can help children relate to the poetry while teaching them about figurative language.
Basic Similes Lessons and Activities
- The British Council has a great simile matching game for kids to complete online.
- Brain Pop Jr. offers a nice resource that includes fun activities for school and home as well as activities that help children relate this poetic device to their daily lives.
Poetry Lessons and Activities
- ReadWriteThink's lesson plan on color poems encourages children to use similes to describe popular colors.
- This lesson plan from Readwritethink uses examples of similes in popular poems to teach students how to include them in their own work.
- PoetryTeachers.com offers a lesson from poet Bruce Lansky that features a simile poem and a fill-in-the-blank poem to help students create their own.
- This lesson from TeacherVision has students create self-portrait simile poems. You must subscribe to view the full lesson.
Simile Poetry Makes Kids Smarter
The ability to make connections is a very important skill. The process is imaginative and creative, but it can lead to pragmatic problem-solving skills over time. When children incorporate simile poetry into their lives, they begin to develop the skills necessary for analogous thought necessary for science and art.