Emotion Similes

Grade Levels: 5 - 8


  • Students will define and recognize similes.
  • Students will write a poem using similes.


  1. Define simile: a figure of speech that compares two objects using like, as, or than. (She is as red as a rose. I slept like a log.) The objects being compared are not similar except in one respect. The girl and the rose are unlike except they share a blushing quality. The tired boy and the log are different except for their inertia.
  2. Explain to students that they will write a poem based primarily on similes.
  3. Brainstorm on the blackboard for a list of words naming emotions.
  4. Provide the following structure for their poems.

    The poem is a definition using all the senses and similes that the students make personal by using original detail, which reflects their lives and experiences.

    Emotion is color. (This line is a metaphor.)
    It sounds like...
    It tastes like...
    It smells like...
    Emotion feels like...

    A sample:
    Indifference is water-stained gray.
    It sounds like hissing static on the radio.
    It tastes like overcooked noodles.
    It smells like a musty, closed attic room.
    Indifference feels like a lukewarm bath in rusty water.

  • Drafting:
    1. Ask the students to pick a word of their own from those brainstormed on the blackboard and begin their own poem. (Encourage students to include onomatopoeia in the description of sound.)
  • Revising:
    1. Have the students edit and shape their poems (adding specific original detail where appropriate, and writing their final copy on plain paper).
    2. Work individually with students.
  • Presenting:
    1. When the final copies are completed on unlined paper, ask students to read their poems aloud before collecting them.
  • Excerpted from Writing Process Activities Kit.

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