Using hyperbole, similes and metaphors

Home learning focus

Learn how to use hyperbole, similes and metaphors.

This lesson includes:

  • three videos

  • three activities

Learn

Hyperbole, similes and metaphors are all types of figurative language that help to make your writing more interesting.

They can be particularly helpful for creating an image of what you are writing about in the reader’s mind.

Recap the difference between literal and figurative language by watching this video.

Learn the difference between literal and figurative language.

Now watch the video below to learn about hyperbole and how you can use it in your writing.

Find out what a hyperbole is and how to use it.

Next, learn more about similes and metaphors by watching this video.

Learn the difference between similes and metaphors.

What is hyperbole?

Hyperbole is used to exaggerate, intensify and emphasise different points in your writing - it is not meant to be taken literally!

For example:

  • The doctor’s care was out of this world.
  • The nurses always gave it 200%!

What is simile?

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

For example:

  • The carer was as gentle as a dove.
  • The man was as tall as a skyscraper.
  • Jess was graceful like a gazelle.

What is a metaphor?

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

For example:

  • 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.

  • The lady told George, 'You are my sunshine'.

George isn’t sunshine, but it's a way for the lady to explain how great she thinks he is.

Practise

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

Activity 1

Show off your knowledge of figurative language - including similes and metaphors - by completing this quiz!

Activity 2

Look at these interesting images for inspiration:

Doctors in superhero capes
Superhero doctors
Doctor with a superhero shadow

Can you write five sentences that include either:

  • hyperbole
  • a simile
  • a metaphor

Here are a few examples.

Hyperbole

  • At the end of a long day, the carer muttered, 'My shoes are killing me!'
  • My family watched the video and Mum nearly died of laughter.

Metaphor:

  • The kind nurse had a smile that lit up the room.
  • Their work was a rainbow of care and love.

Simile:

  • 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:

Drew was as hungry as a bear can be extended to say: Drew was starving! He was as hungry as a humongous grizzly bear!

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 about hyperbole, similes and metaphors.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help with your writing:

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