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Lesson Plan #:AELP-WCP0006
Author: Lorraine M. Tanaka
School or Affiliation: Sierra Grande Elementary Blanca, CO
Endorsed by: These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops. Date: May 1994

Grade Level(s): 3, 4, 5, 6


  • Language Arts/Writing (composition)

Overview: Authors often compare two unlike things to make their writing more interesting and to help readers make mental pictures. Comparisons that use the words like or as are called similes. Children can also learn to use similes in their writing to make their sentences or stories more descriptive and interesting to read.


The purpose of this activity is to expose students to similes and how they can be used in writing. This activity will allow students to write their own similes without the pressure that is often found when we ask students to write for us.


As a result of this activity, students will:

  • Define the term ‘simile’.
  • Write their own similes using the words as or like.
  • Work cooperatively to write similes.
  • Write stories that will include similes.
  • Illustrate picture books that contain similes.
  • Resources/Materials Needed:

  • Quick as a Cricket by Don Woods
  • The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists
  • crayons
  • drawing paper
  • writing paper.
  • Time Frame: 1 Week


    1. Introduce similes to students by writing the word boy on the chalkboard. Tell the class you want to describe a boy. ( Not necessarily a boy in class).
    2. Write descriptions that the class might suggest under the word boy. Ask questions such as how big? or What shade of blue? to any descriptions that are given. This will be the beginning of simile writing.
    3. After descriptions have been made, tell the class to compare their descriptions to things that are unlike. Example: Eyes are brown as chocolate. Continue to do this until all the descriptions have been compared.
    4. Write words such as clown, house, tower, apple, lion, baby, sky. Tell the class to describe one of the words using a simile on a slip of paper. Students can then read their descriptions and the class can guess which word is being described.
    5. Read: Quick As A Cricket, by Don Woods to the class. Discuss how the things compared are alike or unlike.
    6. Break up the class into groups of three. Pass out sheets of paper that have been prefolded into thirds. Each child in the group will have a special writing job. Child One will write a short subject that includes a linking verb. Child Two will write a simile in the second column (without looking at Column One). Child Three will write a phrase telling how, when, where, or why. When the three columns are read together, some very humorous sentences will have been formed.
      Example: The tall boy’s hair is / as thick as a rug / when he runs. Continue to do this activity until each child has had a chance to write in all three columns. Students will enjoy reading their sentences.
    7. Students will write short stories for younger children using similes in their sentences. After proofreading and final copies have been done, students will illustrate their stories.
    8. Have Story Time where the students can read their stories to younger children.

    Tying It All Together:

  • Bind stories together and put book in the school library.
  • Encourage students to use similes in all their writing.
  • Use practice sheets with similes to assess understanding.
  • My Third Graders really enjoyed doing this activity.