Education Technology

NCTE: Tuning in to Metaphor and Simile

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students bring their favorite CDs or tapes with songs (or snippets) that display metaphor and/or simile and play these pieces for review and interpretation by the class. The students determine where metaphor and/or simile was used in each song.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the NoteFolio(tm) App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Have a CD player and an audiocassette player in the room and ready for this activity. If the students have given you their play lists, then it can be convenient to have printouts of the lyrics for these songs to refer to, if needed.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the and NoteFolio(tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Read and view texts and performances from a wide range of authors, subjects, and genres.
  • Understand and identify the distinguishing features of the major genres and use them to aid their interpretation and discussion of literature.
  • Identify significant literary elements (including metaphor, symbolism, foreshadowing, dialect, rhyme, meter, irony, climax) and use those elements to interpret the work.
  • Recognize different levels of meaning.
  • Read aloud with expression, conveying the meaning and mood of a work.
  • Evaluate literary merit based on an understanding of the genre and the literary elements.
  • Present responses to and interpretations of literature making references to the literary elements found in the text and connections with their personal knowledge and experience.
  • Produce interpretation of literary works that identify different levels of meaning and comment on their significance and effect.
  • Write stories, poems, essays, and plays that observe the conventions of the genre and contain interesting and effective language and voice.
  • After the Activity

    After all the presentations are completed, ask the class to repeat four or five of their favorite metaphors or similes from their song selections. Write these on a clean transparency, then ask the class to rephrase these passages without using the metaphor or simile. (This is a class effort. It could be difficult!) When this exercise is done, compare and contrast the effectiveness of the two phrases. Highlight how the metaphor or simile is richer text and contributes to the success and impact of the song.