We have had some great work with metaphors and similes. My classes are small enough so that the students can all work on the white boards at the same time and the kids really love it. It is very difficult for many of them to take an idea and write it both as a simile and a metaphor. What a great exercise in flexible thinking. I think they made some progress and we'll continue to work toward this goal. We also looked at some poems which were also riddles. We played twenty questions to guess the subjects of the poems by such authors as Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. Good practice for inductive reasoning! We've been reading The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes and Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash to see how authors use similes and metaphors to create imagery in their poems.
We are beginning a new writing assignment...the dreaded acrostic poem! I have found a new and better example for them and we will be writing acrostics in couplets which I found easier than writing in free verse. We'll be brainstorming topics and comparisons (for similes and metaphors) and then students will have time in class to write their poem. Students tend to get caught up in the rhymes and neglect the meaning of their poems. It is a challenge to teach them that without meaning, their poems are well, meaningless. It seems obvious, but really, it's not! We are utilizing rhyming dictionaries and student thesauruses to help find the perfect words to complete the poems.
As we complete our poems, students read them outloud to the class. We practice applauding each other, being good listeners, making eye contact, and presenting good posture!