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Printable Simile Matching Cards

Amy Finley
boy and teacher playing with matching cards

Teaching similes can be fun with the right tools. Whether you are a teacher with a full classroom, a homeschooling parent, or other educator or caregiver that wants to make learning fun, these printable matching simile cards make it a breeze to help children understand similes.

Teaching With Printable Matching Simile Cards

At first it might be a bit difficult for students to understand figurative language but providing examples is an excellent way to help them learn. Fun simile activities keep it interesting and make teaching the concept easier.

Explaining Similes

Prior to using the simile matches, be sure to explain clearly what a simile is. A simple explanation could be that a simile is a type of figurative language used to compare two things using "like" or "as." Also make sure to explain the purpose - to make something more vivid and interesting. You may want to teach metaphors at the same time since they are a very similar type of figurative language, and the contrast to similes may help make the two clearer in the student's mind. Once children understand the definitions, move on to give them some examples of similes and metaphors to illustrate the concept.

Download the Printable Matching Simile Cards

Once the basics are explained, the fun begins. Print the printable matching simile cards here - just click on the image and the PDF will open in a new window for you to print. If you need help, just turn to this helpful Adobe guide for tips. The printable contains two sets of matching simile cards. One set contains sentences, which can be used for more advanced readers or once students have a more established concept of similes, and the other set contains simple similes that can be used to start out or for newer readers. All cards include fun illustrations. Use card stock or heavyweight paper for best results.

Activity Ideas Using Printable Simile Matches

There are a variety of ways teachers and caregivers can use the printable simile matches to help students learn. Take your pick from the ideas shown here, or come up with your own unique way of using them.

Matching Game Ideas

The basic way you can use the cards is as a matching game or match memory game. It's versatile because this method works for a single student or a group of students. Simply cut the cards out and sort into piles of for each half of the simile. Have students read and match the correct similes. To make it more competitive, you could use a timer or have two groups of students race against one another. The matching game could also be a language arts center activity.

Writing Prompts

The simile match cards could also be used as writing prompts, and there are a few creative ways to do this.

Little girl writing at desk
  • Have the students match the similes and then use them as a prompt for an original story idea.
  • After matching the similes, have students come up with their own responses for one half of the simile. You might also challenge the children to see how many original similes they can come up with for a certain simile half, or see how many they can create in a certain time frame.
  • Use them as prompt to create entire new similes from their imagination.
  • Choose several of the simile prompts to set the stage for story elements, such as a description of a character, setting, and so on.
  • Have the students write a journal entry using a designated number of similes from the cards.
  • Free write using a combination of similes from the cards and students' own simile ideas.

Create Poetry

Give children a prompt or theme for an original short poem, such as their favorite day or a favorite memory. Have students use the simile cards to incorporate more vividness in their poetry. Allow them to try to come up with creative alternatives to the designated matches to create a zany poem. The class could also come up with a poem as a group, with each children writing a line or two and using a simile of their choice.

Around the Room

Children learn in different ways, and many students learn better when they are able to move their bodies as well as exercise their minds, and these simile printables could be used in that way. Print, cut, and sort them, then use them as a read-around-the-room activity. Place simile halves in various locations throughout the classroom (or home) and have students walk around and hunt to find the correct pairing.

Use as a Sort

Print the cards on regular paper, then cut out each set but don't divide. Give students construction paper and glue and have them match and glue the beginning and end of each simile onto paper.

Use as a Worksheet to Identify Parts of a Simile

In this exercise, just print out the cards as is to make it a worksheet activity. Hand out the simile pages and instruct students to highlight or circle the what items is being compared, then identify what it is being compared to. Take it a step further by having the students answer out loud or write why the two things are being compared.

Circle time class discussion

For class discussion. You could also use the simile matches for a circle group or class discussion. Have students work together or call on individuals to match the cards, then discuss why it makes a good simile and what its meaning is.

Set Up as Task Cards

It's no secret that students often finish tasks at different times. Cut out the similes and sort the halves, then place them in plastic bags at a station that kids can turn when they finish an assignment early as a fun learning task.

Simile Scavenger Hunt

After printing and cutting out the cards, separate which ones could be used for a scavenger hunt. These could be actual items (such as the nickel or bottle of soda) or things around the room, such as a rainbow chart or calendar. In advance, place the second part of the simile near an item or picture on the room that matches it. Separate students into small groups and give the first half of these simile matches. Challenge them to a simile scavenger hunt to find the other half within the room. Once they've finished, have the remaining match cards at a station for them to try to match as quickly as possible.

Similes Made Easy

Once kids understand what similes are and how they work, they might just surprise you with coming up with unique ones of your own. Simile matching cards can be used in lots of ways to help students get the concept and inspire them to create original figurative language of their own.

Printable Simile Matching Cards