Figurative Language: Day 18

Today we reviewed figurative language (similes and metaphors) and learned how to use figures of speech more thoughtfully.

1. Passing in Revision #2. All students answered the final Post-Workshop question on their Writer’s Workshop cover sheet (aka To Do List) and then turned in the revision of one scene from their memoir. These revisions will be graded with a copyeditor’s attention to detail for students to use next week when we start really digging our teeth into the writing and revision process.

2. In-class writing time. Students all received fifteen minutes to start writing a new scene from their memoir. We turned off the lights and listened to Debussy and wrote. It was a beautiful sight. And most of us wrote between 1/2 page and 1 1/2 pages.

3. What’s your focus? Students quickly wrote down the focus of their memoir on a tiny piece of paper to turn in just to help assign readings that relate to their writing.

4. Simile and Metaphor. We quickly reviewed simile and metaphor with a song to the tune of “Old MacDonald”:

Similes use like, as, than;

Metaphors do not.

Brilliant, right? It’ll stay with you forever now. We wrote down this Grammy-winning lyrics on L7: Figurative Language: Similes and Metaphors. Then, students went through the revision process on the Similes and Metaphors notes sheet to help them revise one of the sentences in their writing. Here’s an example:

1. Using adjectives, describe the mood of the scene you wrote.

anxious and regretful

2. Using the word bank, write an organizing simile based on the mood.

In this scene I felt like an explorer facing the wild.

 Simile Word Bank

  • a soldier in the battlefield
  • a prisoner on death row
  • a bird soaring in the sky
  • an Olympic athlete winning a gold medal
  • a wild animal being tamed
  • a seed in the earth ready to sprout
  • an explorer facing the wild
  • a master chef preparing a great feast
  • a stranger in a country where I don’t know the language

3. Come up with a list of words that relate to your organizing simile. Using these words will ensure that your diction reveals your simile. This way all your similes and metaphors will come from the same family and you won’t throw your reader off by saying something like “I jumped out of bed like a cheetah!” on the day your grandmother died. Your grandma and cheetahs just don’t go together. Also, “it was like honey to my ears,” is also kinda gross because now I’m picturing your ears full of honey. Just doesn’t work.









record book




















4. Copy out one sentence from your scene, exactly as you wrote it the first time (without similes).

His loveseat was still sitting there, the floral patterned brown and tan make of suede–or really, a scratchy velvet if there ever was one.

5. Now, rewrite the sentence using at least one of the words from step three from any column.

His loveseat was still camped there, the floral designs charting paisley archipelagoes across tributaries of sandy velvet, the pattern a map to an unknown landscape.

There! I used eight in a sentence!

Keep writing your scene with the intention to include more words from your chart.

HW: Finish writing scene using figurative language.