Education Technology

NCTE: Defining Metaphor and Simile

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students learn (or review) definitions of metaphor and simile. They discuss the reasons for using these figures of speech and also discuss the effectiveness of using metaphor and simile as literary tools.

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.

Prepare a transparency of the Teacher Guide, "Metaphor and Simile Defined," that is included at the end of this activity.

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

    Now that the students have a firm grasp of the ways in which metaphor and simile are used, prepare the students for the next activity. Tell them to think of their favorite songs and determine whether or not metaphors and/or similes are used in the lyrics. For the next class period, they should bring a list containing the names of five or six of their favorite tunes that they think contain either metaphors or similes.