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Lesson Plans
Simile Study
3rd–5th Grade

CCSS Language
  • L.4.5.A: Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.
  • L.5.5.A: Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
Materials Needed


Print a copy of the Make Your Own Simile reproducible and Super Similes instruction page and reproducible for each student.


Read aloud Stubborn as a Mule and Other Silly Similes by Nancy Loewen (or another book with a variety of similes).


  1. Point out to students that the book you just read contains many different similes, or comparisons between one thing and another using the word “like” or “as” (such as the simile in the title, stubborn as a mule).
  2. Ask students to recall two or three more examples of comparisons from the book and write them on a whiteboard or chart paper (e.g., as easy as pie, shiny like a new penny, as flat as a pancake).
  3. Explain to students that writers use comparisons or similes to give the reader a stronger or clearer description of an object. By comparing something to an object that the reader is already familiar with, such as a slow snail, a beautiful flower or a tall building, the writer is making sure the reader understands how slow, beautiful or tall the object they are describing is.

Guided Practice

  1. Give each student a copy of the Make Your Own Simile reproducible.
  2. Encourage students to choose a simile from the book that you read aloud, such as as flat as a pancake or as hard as nails, and then change the last part to make their own comparison. For example, as hard as nails might become as hard as a rock.
  3. Have students choose an object to compare in order to create a new simile. For example, My cookie is as hard as a rock. Instruct students to write their new simile on the first line at the top of their paper.
  4. Invite students to draw a picture in the box to illustrate their simile.
  5. Finally, ask students to answer each question beneath the box to identify which two items they are comparing, why they compared the two objects and what the simile means. For example:
    • I compared a cookie to a rock.
    • A rock is a hard object, and I want to show that my cookie is hard, too.
    • The simile means that my cookie is not soft and chewy the way cookies usually are. It is difficult to bite into and eat.

Independent Practice

  1. Give each student a copy of the Super Similes instruction page and reproducible.
  2. Explain that each sentence on the reproducible page contains a simile in which something is being compared to something else.
  3. Instruct students to read each sentence carefully and then determine what the subject is, what it is being compared to and what the simile means.
  4. Invite students to share their responses. Use the answer key to help guide them to the correct interpretations.

the 3rd–5th Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)




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