The World of Similes

I usually have several books going at once. It all depends on what I’m in the mood to read at the end of the day. Among the stack of books beside my bed are Barbara Kingsolver’s Pigs in Heaven, and Morgan Llywelyn’s Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas. Both of them are rich in similes.

From Pigs in Heaven:

Cardboard boxes crowd the linoleum floor like little barges bristling with their cargo: pots and pans, mason jars, oven mitts, steak knives, more stuff than Alice can image she ever needed.

Her long hair slides behind her shoulders like a curtain drawn open.

From Grania:

Playfulness rose in Grania like a seal from the surf.

She looked like ripe fruit; it would feed your eyes to see her.

…the carrack swung on her hawser like an overweight dowager, winded and worn.

I’ll be sharing some of the (age-appropriate) similes from these novels with my students. They need to be able to recognize similes and to create their own.

Reading the simile-rich pages of these two novels has awakened in me the desire to use figurative language to describe the children and events in my classroom. Maybe I’ll start a new meme in the blogosphere, Simile Sunday. It would surely include similes such as these:

They scrubbed paint over the paper, wielding their brushes like mops.


The students crowded around the computer like hungry chicks huddling near their mother hen.

Be watching for more similes from the magical world in which I teach!

Posted on August 11, 2009, in figurative language, reading, similes. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. My favorites for teaching simile is “A Surfeit of Similes” by Norton Juster – of “The Phantom Tollbooth” fame. The illustrations are hilarious and it’s exceptionally useful for teaching simile to students whose native language is not English.

  2. my school was k-8, and I had the olders watch the kindies for simile and imagery ideas-they came up with some good ones!

  3. These are such beautiful similes from your painbox of words!

  4. OOOps! That was meant to be paintbox!

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