Aims of lesson: To learn about 'figures of speech.'

by Chantel Evans Mathias

By the end of the lesson you should know about:


A SIMILE is a figure of speech where X is compared to Y , using the words AS or LIKE .

For example:

heart "My love's LIKE a red, red rose."
"He was AS cold AS ice."rose

A METAPHOR is a figure of speech where X is compared to Y, and where X is said TO BE Y. A METAPHOR says that X IS Y.

For example:

Helpful Hint 1
'ARE' is the plural form of the verb 'IS.'
For example: The girl IS going. / The girls ARE going.

Helpful Hint 2
One use of an apostrophe (') is to show that letters are missing.
For example: The boy's here = The boy is here


Authors use metaphors and similes to create IMAGES .

Identify whether the following are similes or metaphors. BEWARE, there are some trick ones in there!

  1. "Juliet is the sun." (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.)

  2. Tracy felt as sick as a parrot.

  3. "..the perfect sky is torn." (Natalie Imbruglia, "Torn")

  4. The traffic is murder.

  5. Tom is as deaf as a post.

  6. "Life's but a walking shadow." (Shakespeare, Macbeth.)

  7. She ran like the wind.

  8. I'm as light as a feather.

  9. "The sun's a thief." (Shakespeare, Timon of Athens.)

  10. Kitty is the apple of her mother's eye.

  11. "Death lies upon her like an untimely frost." (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.)

  12. My feet are as warm as toast.

  13. "There's more life in a tramp's vest." (Stereophonics, "more life in a tramp's vest.")

  14. Tom is deaf.

  15. "Everyday is a winding road& " (Sheryl Crow, "Everyday is a winding road.")

  16. My eyes are blue.

  17. "England & is a fen of stagnant waters." (Wordsworth.)

  18. "Their smiles, wan as primroses." (Keats.)

  19. The cucumber is cool.

  20. Your beauty shines like the sun.

  21. "Love is blind, as far as the eye can see." (The Spice Girls, "Too Much.")

  22. She looked as pretty as a picture.

  23. James was as cool as a cucumber.

  24. His feet are as black as coal.

  25. "It's been a hard day's night / And I've been working like a dog." (Lennon and McCartney.)

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
     Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
     Whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
     That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
     Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
     Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates
     And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
     In leaves and silver fleur-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
     Is come, my love is come to me.

Christina G. Rossetti 1830-1894

You Fit into Me

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

Margaret Atwood (1939- )


Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A Common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo's mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fool's Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.

Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our travelled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

This lesson plan was found free at
Copyright 2000 English resources, all rights reserved