Using similes and metaphors

Home learning focus

Learn how to use similes and metaphors.

This lesson includes:

  • one video

  • three activities

Learn

Learn more about similes and metaphors by watching this clip.

What are metaphors and similes?

What is a simile?

A simile describes something by comparing it to something else, using the words like or as.

Examples

  • The snake moved like a ripple on a pond.
  • The jelly was as slippery as an eel.
  • Jess was graceful as a gazelle.

What is a metaphor?

A metaphor is a word or a phrase used to describe something as if it is something else.

Examples

A wave of terror washed over him.

The terror isn't actually a wave, but a wave is a good way of describing the feeling.

Jess is dynamite.

She's not made of dynamite, but it's a way to explain how exciting she is.

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Explore your knowledge of similes and metaphors by completing this quiz!

Activity 2

Look at these healthcare hero images for inspiration:

Doctors in superhero capes.
Superhero doctors.
Doctor with a superhero shadow.

Can you write:

  • three similes to describe the images
  • three metaphors to describe the images

Examples:

Metaphors

  • The kind nurse had a smile that lit up the room.
  • Hearing the lady laugh was music to the carer’s ears.
  • Their work was a rainbow of care and love.

Similes

  • The team of doctors and nurses worked together like the stars and the moon.
  • Each day, the healthcare heroes care for others was like a sturdy boat!

Top tip!

Add extra detail to your simile or metaphor to create a more detailed image in the reader’s mind.

For example:

Sverrir sang like a bird.

Can be extended to say…

When Sverrir sang, he sounded like a beautiful, melodic bird.

Activity 3

You can either print out this activity sheet or write your answers on a piece of paper.

To explore figurative language further, give this simile to metaphor activity a try:

Simile to a metaphor worksheet

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt to use similes and metaphors.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you to understand more about creative writing:

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