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December 15, 2010 Similes, Metaphors, and Seuss By Brent Vasicek
Grades 1–2, 3–5


    Dr. Seuss is a god [metaphor] when it comes to using metaphors to address complicated adults issues in fun, childlike rhymes. He is like an artist with an unending palette of colors [simile].

    I often turn to Dr. Seuss to spice up my lessons on similes and metaphors. Below is a holiday lesson that is especially designed for those with an intelligence for music.


    So, it is the last few days before the holiday break. You want to keep the educational ball rolling, but you are finding it hard to compete with the sugar plums dancing in your students' heads. Here is a holiday-themed lesson for teaching your students about figurative language, specifically, similes and metaphors.Grinch

    Social Studies

    I start off the day by reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas! As a class we talk about what truly makes people happy. We discuss what it means to be materialistic and sprinkle in one of our core democratic values: "the common good." 


    I then pass out the lyrics to the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." We listen to the song and discuss how the lyrics compare Mr. Grinch to many things. I emphasize that we now have a pretty good picture of the Grinch in our minds because of the way the lyrics were written. I lead the students toward noticing the number of times we see the words like or as. I explain the difference between a simile and a metaphor. We listen to the song again, highlighting similes and metaphors that appear in the lyrics.


    Finally, I have the students write a letter in advice column style. The students first write with a problem as one of the Whos. Then the students switch roles and write some advice back.

    What are some ways you teach metaphors in your classroom?

    Happy holidays,




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