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CONVERSATION CLASS

TOPIC: SIMILES

Lets talk about similes. The word simile comes from a Latin word meaning likeness, comparison,
sameness, or the same as. We use similes all the time when we speak, without even thinking about it.
Writers use similes too when they describe things by comparing them to other things. For example, instead of
describing something as big, you could say it is as big as a house; or instead of saying someone runs fast, you
could say he runs like the wind. Which one helps you see or understand better how big or how fast is meant? A
good simile makes both your speaking and your writing more interesting.
Similes are easy to recognise. They have two grammar patterns. Both grammar patterns were used in
the examples above. One is as (something) as (something) and the other is (something) like (something).
The words as or like tell us we are making a comparison.
Some similes are obvious. We all know that houses are big, for instance, so as big as a house suggests
to us something that is very big. However, some similes have been part of the language for so long that we might
have difficulty understanding the comparison. For example, why do we say as cute as a button? No one knows!
But this simile has been used for over 200 years!
Of course, we dont only have to use well-known similes. Its often much more fun to make up our own.
(How about, as cute as a bunnys tail?) It is important to be able to identify and interpret, or understand the
meaning of, those already in use.
Examples:

"He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow." (George Eliot, Adam Bede)
"Human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when we want
to move the stars to pity." (Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary)

"Humanity, let us say, is like people packed in an automobile which is traveling downhill without lights at
terrific speed and driven by a four-year-old child. The signposts along the way are all marked 'Progress.'"
(Lord Dunsany)

"Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep." (Carl Sandburg)
"My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain." (W.H. Auden)
"He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food." (Raymond Chandler)
"She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat." (James Joyce, "The Boarding House")
"Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and strong." (slogan of Pan-American Coffee Bureau)
"Life is rather like a tin of sardines: we're all of us looking for the key." (Alan Bennett)

CONVERSATION CLASS

"Matt Leinart slid into the draft like a bald tire on black ice." (Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 25, 2007)
A Strategy for Using Similes
You will often encounter similes when listening to a speaker or reading something. Follow the steps listed below to
build your understanding of similes.
1.

Listen or look for the words "like" or "as" as clues to a possible simile.

2.

Identify the two things being compared.

3.

Think about the two things being compared.

4.

Form a mental image of the comparison.

5.

Identify what the speaker or writer is trying to communicate.

Recognizing similes will help you better understand what you hear or read. Using similes when you speak or write
will improve your communication.

Commonly Used Similes


Here are some commonly used similes in which like is used to signal the comparison:

fits like a glove

swims like a fish

runs like a deer

stood out like a sore thumb

chatters like a monkey

fought like cats and dogs

moves like a snail

eyes like a hawk

sits there like a bump on a log

takes it like a man

eats like a pig

sings like a bird

Here are some commonly used similes in which as is used to signal the comparison:

as clear as mud

as clear as a bell

as strong as an ox

as bright as day

as nutty as a fruitcake

as light as a feather

as pretty as a picture

as dry as a bone

as good as gold

as slow as molasses

as quiet as a mouse

as deep as the ocean

CONVERSATION CLASS

Other examples:
As agile as a monkey

As cute as a baby

As alike as two peas in a pod

As cute as a button

As annoying as nails scratching against a

As cute as a cup cake

chalkboard.

As damp as the salty blue ocean

As bald as a baby's backside

As dead as a doornail

As bald as a badger

As dead as the dodo

As bald as a coot

As deaf as a post

As beautiful as nature

As delicate as a flower

As big as a boat

As dense as a brick

As big as a bus

As different as chalk from cheese

As big as an elephant

As drunk as a lord

As black as a sweep

As dry as a bone

As black as coal

As dry as dust

As black as one is painted

As dull as dishwater

As black as pitch

As easy as A.B.C.

As blind as a bat

As easy as pie

As blind as a mole

As fast as a racecar

As bold as brass

As fat as a hippo

As brave as a lion

As fat as a pig

As bright as a button

As fit as a fiddle

As bright as a new pin

As flat as a pancake

As bright as day

As free as a bird

As bright as the sun

As fresh as a daisy

As busy as a beaver

As funny as a balloon

As busy as a bee

As gentle as a lamb As good as gold

As busy as a cat on a hot tin roof

As hairy as an ape

As calm as a millpond

As happy as a clown

As clear as a bell

As happy as a lark

As clean as a hound's tooth

As happy as Larry

As clean as a whistle

As happy as a rat with a gold tooth

As clear as crystal

As hard as nails

As clear as mud

As hard as rock

As cold as ice

As high as a kite

As common as dirt

As hoarse as a crow

As cool as a cucumber

As hot as a fire cracker

As crazy as a loon

As hot as hell

As cunning as a fox

As hungry as a bear

CONVERSATION CLASS
As hungry as a wolf

As sharp as a needle

As innocent as a lamb

As sharp as a razor

As keen as mustard

As sick as a dog

As large as life

As sick as a parrt

As light as a feather

As silent as the dead

As light as air

As silent as the grave

As likely as not

As silly as a goose

As loud as a lion

As sleepy as a koala

As lowly as a worm

As slippery as an eel

As mad as a hatter

As slow as molasses

As mad as a hornet

As slow as a snail

As mad as the march hare

As slow as a tortoise

As merry as a cricket

As slow as a turtle

As modest as a maiden

As slow as a wet weekend

As much use as a yard of pump water

As sly as a fox

As naked as a baby

As smart as an owl

As neat as a pin

As smooth as silk

As nutty as a fruitcake

As snug as a bug in a rug

As obstinate as a mule

As sober as a judge

As old as dirt

As soft as a baby's bottom

As old as the hills

As solid as a rock

As pale as death

As solid as the ground we stand on

As pale as a ghost

As sound as a bell

As patient as Job

As sour as vinegar

As plain as day

As steady as a rock

As pleased as Punch

As sticky as jam

As poor as a church mouse

As stiff as a board

As poor as dirt

As still as death

As pretty as a picture

As straight as an arrow

As proud as a peacock

As strong as an ox

As pure as snow

As stubborn as a mule

As pure as the driven snow

As sturdy as an oak

As quick as a wink

As sure as death and taxes

As quick as lightning

As sweet as honey

As quick as silver

As tall as a giraffe

As quiet as a mouse

As tight as a drum

As rich as gold

As thick as a brick

As right as rain

As thin as a rake

As round as a barrel

As thin as a toothpick

As round as a circle

As timid as a rabbit

As round as a sphere

As tiny as a grain of sand

As safe as houses

As tough as leather

As scarce as hen's teeth

As tough as nails

As sensitive as a flower

As tough as old boots

CONVERSATION CLASS
As tricky as a box of monkeys

As white as snow

As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party

As wise as Solomon

As white as a ghost

As wise as an owl

As white as a sheet

Worked as hard as an alabama cottonpicker

Simile Lesson Plan


Activity 1
Pick random things in the class and model to students how to create a simile with a specific object
The chair is as strong as Superman.
Her lips are as red as cherries.
Ask students to find 3 items and write a simile to describe it. Students can work with a partner or solo.
After students have written their simile, let them share them with the class.
Activity 2
Read a poem that is filled with similes to the class. Give the poem to the class and ask students to
highlight the similes in the poem. Students are able to find the similes with the clue words like and as.
Students should underline the part of the sentence compares the object. Correct this orally with the class.
Activity 3
Give students a worksheet to complete the sentences using a simile. The teacher may decide to fill in
either blanks or leave them both blank. As well, the teacher should provide sentences with like and as.
This is a great opportunity to have a mini lesson on descriptive language and how they create pictures in
the mind. Also, the teacher may have a chart of descriptive language for a reference for the students.
For this worksheet students should all have a thesaurus to aid in their formation of descriptive language.
Her teeth were as ___________ as ___________
Her teeth were as white as snowflakes.
Correct with the class and have students share their answers. The teacher may write all the responses on
chart paper. The teacher writes the statement at the bottom of the page, and records the answers.
Activity 4
After students have a grasp of a simile, they will describe themselves or a partner.
Students will draw a picture of themselves portrait or full size and write 3-5 sentences describing
themselves using descriptive language and similes.
Students will not share their information with the rest of the class. The teacher will collect all of the
assignments. After, the teacher will read the paragraphs and the students will have to guess who it is
based on the information.
POEMS
Predictable
Poor as a church mouse.

cute as a button,

strong as an ox,

smart as a fox.

CONVERSATION CLASS
thin as a toothpick,

proud as a peacock,

white as a ghost,

ugly as sin.

fit as a fiddle,

When people are talking

dumb as a post.

you know what they'll say

bald as an eagle,

as soon as they start to

neat as a pin,

use a clich.

Your Teeth
Your teeth are like stars;
they come out at night.
They come back at dawn
when they're ready to bite.
by Denise Rodgers

Your Feet
Your feet smell so bad,
just like limburger cheese,
that I'm holding my nose tight
between my two knees.
by Denise Rodgers

A Red, Red Rose


[Hear Red, Red Rose] 1794
Robert Burns

O my Luve's like a red, red rose,


That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!

CONVERSATION CLASS
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!

Complete the simile


Here is a list of similes. See if you can find the missing word and match them:
1. As cute as

A rock

2. He ran like

Cats and dogs

3. As big as

The wind

4. It fits like

An old shoe

5. As comfortable as

A hyena

6. They fought like

A button

7. As flat as

A baby

8. He laughs like

A pancake

9. As hard as

A glove

10. I slept like

A house

WRITING
Create your own
Choose five of the similes above but complete them using your own examples
Using similes
Now write about anything you like, or about yourself, using similes.

CONVERSATION CLASS

1. As cute as a button.
2. He ran like the wind.
3. As big as a house.
4. It fits like a glove.
5. As comfortable as an old shoe.
6. They fought like cats and dogs.
7. As flat as a pancake.
8. He laughs like a hyena.
9. As hard as a rock.
10. I slept like a baby.

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