Lesson: Metaphors

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify metaphors in poetry and explain their meaning.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Readers, yesterday we learned similes are one type of figurative language.  Remember figurative language is a tool that poets use to create clear images in their poems.  Similes used the words “like” or “as” to compare two things.  This helped us create a picture in our minds of the object being compared.  Today, we will learn about a second type of figurative language, metaphors.

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): A metaphor compares two things without using the words “like” or “as”.  Metaphors also create strong images in our mind, sometimes much stronger than similes because the comparison is more direct.  For example, instead of saying Ms. Smith is as tall as a giant using a simile; the writer would say, Ms. Smith is a giant.  I still have the same image in my head of a very tall person like a giant but the words “like’ or “as” aren’t used in the comparison.  Let’s look at some examples together.

Teacher uncovers teaching chart for the day.  The chart shows the following sentences.

1.    Tehjara is an angel.
2.    Steve is a volcano ready to erupt.
3.    Sarah is a bright start in the class.
4.    Dan is a clown in class.

Teacher reads aloud the first example.  Tehjara is an angel.  I think this metaphor is comparing Tehjara to an angel.  I know that angels are very nice and kind.  So this makes me think that Tehjara must be a nice person.  Did you notice how I thought about what I already knew about angels to figure out what the writer was trying to show me about Tehjara?  Try to do the same with the next example.

Teacher reads aloud the second example.  Turn and tell your partner what this metaphor means.  Students share out responses and teacher charts those responses.  Great job! This metaphor is explaining that Steve is probably mad, or really easily angered.

Let’s try another.  Teacher reads aloud example three.  Turn and tell your partner what you think this metaphor means.  Students should discuss with a partner and share out their responses.  Teacher charts those responses.  Repeat this process with the fourth example.

You all did a great job identifying the metaphors and explaining what the writer was explaining.  When you return to your seats today, you will each read a few poems. Each poem has a metaphor that helps you create a mental image.  As you read underline the metaphor and explaining the meaning.  Students return to their seats for independent work.

Independent Reading (15-20 mins):  You all did a great job identifying the metaphors and explaining what the writer was explaining.  When you return to your seats today, you will each read a few poems. Each poem has a metaphor that helps you create a mental image.  As you read underline the metaphor and explaining the meaning.  Students return to their seats for independent work.

Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Teacher should collect the worksheet at the end of workshop time. This will serve as an exit slip to determine which students need remediation with the skill. Encourage students that finish early to create their own metaphors.

 

Reflection: Students really enjoy similes and metaphors because it gives them a chance to be creative.  Many students finished early and were able to create their own.  One small problem with this lesson is that during the guided practice students only were exposed to sentences with metaphors and the exit slip contains full poems.  However, the poems are extended metaphors and are easy to understand.  Dreams by Langston Hughes is the most difficult of the three poems.  I reviewed the worksheet the following day to ensure students understood the meaning of all the featured metaphors.

Lesson Resources

Metaphor Practice   Classwork
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