Lesson Plan

Recognizing Similes: Fast as a Whip

American poet ee cummings
Photo caption

American poet ee cummings made vivid use of similes in his work.

Similes are used often in literature, appearing in every genre from poetry to prose and from epics to essays. Utilized by writers to bring their literary imagery to life, similes are an important component of reading closely and appreciating literature. This lesson plan can be taught in conjunction with the EDSITEment lesson plan: Introducing Metaphors through Poetry, which will help students recognize both metaphors and similes, and to distinguish the elements from each other. In this lesson students will read excerpts from the work of Robert Frost, William Wordsworth and Toi Derricotte in order to gain an understanding of similes.

Many students begin to learn about similes well before entering high school. This lesson assumes that students will have a basic understanding of what similes are, however it is designed to help students review what they have learned in earlier classes and to begin to engage with similes on a deeper and more abstract level.

Guiding Questions

What are similes and how are they used in literature?

What makes a simile effective?

Learning Objectives

Define similes and identify examples

Read and analyze the similes used in poetry by Derricotte, Frost and Wordsworth

Create their own similes in order to learn how to apply this tool to their own writing projects