Writers, poets and songwriters use similes to add depth and emphasise what they are trying to say to the reader or listener. Similes can create powerful images in the reader's head and can lift a piece of writing from ordinary to extraordinary.
“Tell me a story” Inquiry has a strong literacy focus. Students are investigating the different ways writers and illustrators use words to create a picture in the readers minds through text and illustrations to provide clues to meaning.
Room 5 students are exploring the power of similes in their writing. A simile is ‘a figure of speech that compares one thing with another thing of a different kind.’ Similes are used to add ‘colour’ to a piece of writing. We investigated objects we could look at and feel. So this sounded like the perfect opportunity for a leaf scavenger hunt in the Gully.
My leaf is as green as grass and a tree. It is shaped like a sword. The leaf is as soft as a pillow. It is smooth like a table top and a glass. My leaf is quiet like a personsleeping. It is as crunchy as eating a carrot or cereal. (Ben)
My leaf is as red as a fire engine or love heart. It is shaped like a star. The leaf is as hard as a rock or concrete. It is as smooth as a table top, steel or metal. My leaf sounds as quiet as a mouse creeping or a person knocked out when it falls from the tree. They are crunchy like eating crackers when you walk on them. (Erica-May)
My leaf is as brown as mud or dirt. It is shaped like a tear drop. The leaf is as hard as lego or a table top. It is sharp like a knife, steel or metal. My leaf sounds as quiet as you being knocked out or a library when it falls from the tree. They sound crunchy like eating toast when you walk on them. (Oliver)
My leaf is as yellow as the sun or a lemon. It is shaped like a tear drop. The leaf is as hard as a deer antler or a rock. It is sharp like a vampire fang or a sword. My leaf sounds as quiet as a mouse creeping when it falls from the tree. It is crunchy like stepping on shells when you walk on them. (Riley)
My shell is as grey as concrete. It is shaped like a heart. The shell feels hard like steel. It is as smooth as lino. (Thomas)
My pinecone is brown like a milo, coffee, kiwi feathers or a piece of wood. It is shaped like a triangle cone. The pinecone is hard like a rock or a brick. It is rough like a tree stump. (Hazel)
My cotton ball is as white as a snowball or an arctic fox. It is sphere shaped like a full moon. My cotton ball is as soft as a pillow. It is smooth like a glass window. (Preston and Heath)
Once the students felt confident using similes to compare two objects that we could touch and feel, they moved to the more abstract. Room 5 may have had some very confused parents for a few weeks as their children were often observed steering into their eyes to find out what colour they were or asking whether they would describe themselves as short or tall.
My Dad’s eyes are blue like the glimmering lake or a sapphire. My Dad’s hair is as straight as a ruler. He is tall like a giraffe. He is strong as a gorilla. My Dad likes to hug me, play with me and watch TV with my mum. He is good at painting because he has been practicing for two years. (Lisette)
My Mum's eyes are green like a leaf or a piece of grass. Her hair is as curly as a pigs tail. She is tall like a giraffe. My Mum likes painting, singing and baking. She is good at painting because she has been doing painting since she was four. (Georgia)
My Mum’s eyes are brown like copper or dirt. Her hair is as straight as a pencil. She is tall like a skyscraper. My mum likes to read books, play with us and go walking. She is good at soccer because she used to play when she was a kid. (Grayson)
We read the books My mum and My dad and the students were enchanted by the illustrations, which provided a clue to the way the writer portrayed the qualities of mum and dad.
Students are never too young to experience the power of words and how as writers they can connect with their audience and tell their own stories.
Watch for the “My Val” writing the students in Room 5. Last year's “Our Penny” poems brought Penny to tears.
Keywords: language features, similes, adjectives, description, five senses, look, feel, visual checkers,