Metaphors and Analogies

Page 1 of 2

What Is It?

Metaphors and analogies are comparisons between unlike things that have some particular things in common. Here are some examples: The human eye is like a camera. Love is a kind of game. Sound waves are like the circular ripples that spread from a stone dropped in water. Metaphors and analogies often begin with such phrases as, "It's just like ...", "It's the same as ...", and "Think of it as ...". Writers use metaphors and analogies to enhance and enliven descriptions, and to express thoughts and ideas more clearly and precisely. You can use the Metaphors and Analogies Graphic Organizer to better explain these concepts to your students.

Why Is It Important?

  1. Good teachers use metaphors and analogies to make new and unfamiliar concepts more meaningful to students by connecting what they already know to what they are learning.

  2. Good readers know how to use analogies and metaphors to get at the meaning of a passage.

  3. When students create their own analogies for new concepts, the analogy can provide a way to assess their understanding of the new concepts.

  4. Metaphors and analogies add "sparkle" to student writing.

Research supports the use of analogies in good teaching:

Recognizing and constructing analogies is one way of helping students bridge the gap between the new and the old. Traditional analogies include the eye and a camera, the heart and a pump, the brain and a computer, and the memory and a file cabinet. Self-created analogies are generally more effective than those made up by others (Gunning, 1996).
The activation of prior knowledge to help students learn new knowledge is considered a basic principle of good teaching (Glynn, 1996) and is the foundation for the effective use of analogies.
Analogies have proven to be effective learning tools for reinforcing thinking skills and conceptual understanding (Alvermann & Phelps, 1998).

 Previous   1   2   Next 

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!

Start Trial


Free Gift with Newsletter Sign-Up
Do you receive our free newsletters? We send out seasonal content tie-ins, topical resources, and daily activities. And now when you sign up for any TeacherVision newsletter, we'll send you a packet of our most popular back-to-school essentials as a free gift!

October Calendar of Events
October is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Fire Prevention Week (10/4-10), Metric Week (10/4-10), World Space Week (10/4-10), World Teacher's Day (10/5), Earth Science Week (10/11-17), Chemistry Week (10/18-24), Teen Read Week (10/18-24), Make a Difference Day (10/24), and Halloween (10/31). Plus, celebrate Bullying Prevention Month, Diversity Awareness Month, Learning Disabilities Month, and School Safety Month all October long!

Bullying Prevention Month
October is Bullying Prevention Month, and it's a crucial topic for teachers and administrators to address. Bullying can cause both physical and emotional harm, and it can range from inflicting physical abuse to cyber-bullying (the use of cell phones, social networking sites, and other forms of technology to cause emotional distress). Learn how to recognize several forms of bullying and teasing, and discover effective techniques for dealing with and preventing bullying in your classroom.

Happy Halloween! Kids love this holiday and all the spooky decorations, games, and stories that go along with it. (Not to mention the candy, of course!) Take advantage of their enthusiasm with classroom connections and fun activities.