I came up with
the idea of writing short metaphorical poems while reading a list of old song
titles and thinking about how much more memorable the song titles are than
their meanings. Two examples are “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” (which means
life is sweet) and “The Sunny Side of the Street” (which refers to a place
where people are happy). I could go on, but I won’t because I think you get my
point: Metaphors are colorful and memorable ways to make a comparison.
Writing one of
these poems is a simple way to give students practice including metaphors in
their creative writing. One day, while visiting a school, I said, “My mother is
like an alarm clock” to a class of third graders in Conrad, Iowa and this is
what they came up with:
mother is like an alarm clock.
wakes me up every morning.
she doesn’t go, “Beep! Beep! Beep!”
she yanks open my bedroom door and yells,
get out of bed!”
Kind of fun,
Here’s one I
wrote with some fourth graders who go to Ashley Elementary School in New
dog is like a cheetah.
someone leaves the door open,
springs out the door and runs down the street so fast
one can catch her without a helicopter and a tranquilizer gun.
metaphorical poems aren’t hard to write, but the more thought you put into
them, the better they read. What two things would you like to compare? How about
ice and water? Or the sun and the moon? Or movie stars and heavenly stars? You
can use just about any two things that pop into your mind—if you can think of
some way they’re similar or dissimilar.
2009 Bruce Lansky. Text reprinted by permission of the author. Permission is
given for individual school classes to use this lesson and to make as many
copies of the lesson as are needed for the students’ use. All other
reproduction is prohibited under penalty of law. For use outside individual
classes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All rights reserved.
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