Your students will learn to identify, understand, and compose the most frequently used type of simile—descriptive, like a pro. Reading comprehension, peer conversation, and test results are bound to improve too.
- Identify, interpret, and compose descriptive similes
- Know the difference between similes and metaphors
- Convey thoughts vividly and clearly
- Use similes to describe abstract concepts, ideas, and feelings
Students with language disorders may think learning about similes is as tough as nails until you show them Spotlight on Figurative Language Similes.
That's because the activities begin at a very concrete level designed to engage students with language disorders. As and Like similes in their most basic forms (hungry as a lion, cry like a baby, etc.) are introduced first. Once those forms have been fully learned, activities progress to similes that are more descriptive and extended (hungry as a lion who hasn't tasted meat in a week).
Your students learn to flex their creativity and understand how they can use similes to not only add flair to their reading and writing, but inject a healthy dose of their own humor as well.
The book winds up with some contextual practice, exploring the little-taught than simile form, and some very awful simile jokes that your students will probably love far more than you'd like.
This Spotlight book follows the successful format of others in the series:
- lessons are in a general developmental progression
- step-by-step activities build success and motivation
- lessons use a wide variety of curricular content and daily life experiences
- grammar is uncomplicated
- lessons include current, age-appropriate topics
- progress is measure with a pretest/posttest
You may purchase Spotlight on Figurative Language Similes individually or as part of the Spotlight on Figurative Language 6-book set. The 6-book set consists of:
Copyright © 2012
The research base for specific forms of figurative language comprehension and usage is sparse, but "metaphor" and "metaphoric language" have been explored to some depth. The types of figurative language presented in these books can be classified under the general umbrella of metaphor, and the evidence under that label is relevant to the series.
- Reynolds and Ortony (1980) investigated the comprehension of similes and metaphors by second- through sixth-grade typical children. They found evidence of an ability to understand figurative language by children at all grade levels when adequate contextual supports were provided (Seidenberg & Bernstein, 1986).
- Many learning-disabled children appear to have the requisite abilities and strategies for metaphoric comprehension in their cognitive repertoires but fail to spontaneously and appropriately access and apply them when they should . . . learning-disabled children often fail to spontaneously identify the need to use appropriate, cognitive processing strategies that are well within their cognitive competence (Seidenberg & Bernstein, 1986).
- Metaphoric competence reflects an individual's cognitive level, abstract reasoning ability, and linguistic competence. The likelihood of [identifying] nonliteral responses [in figurative contexts] depends primarily on these competencies but is also influenced by an individual's familiarity with the specific figurative forms being studied (Lee & Kamhi, 1990).
- The ability to understand the motives and intentions of others is essential. Assisting children with ASDs to decode figurative language may improve their social skills in relating to others (Mackay & Shaw, 2004).
- Understanding a speaker's communicative intention is a central goal of communication and involves going beyond the literal meaning of an utterance. Children who do not understand these intentions have major communicative difficulties. Often, they are rejected by their peers, further reducing opportunities for interaction. Perhaps they struggle on with their frustration and confusion unnoticed, as the people around them continue to use figurative language. Our closer attention to the specifics of their difficulties should help them when they try to work out the meanings and intentions in the figurative language of their communicative partners (Mackay & Shaw, 2004).
Spotlight on Figurative Language Similes incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Lee, R.F., & Kamhi, A.G. (1990). Metaphoric competence in children with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23(8), 476-482.
Mackay, G., & Shaw, A. (2004). A comparative study of figurative language in children with autistic spectrum disorders. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 20(1), 13-32. doi: 10.1191/0265659004ct261oa
Reynolds, R.E., & Ortony, A. (1980). Some issues in the measurement of children's comprehension of metaphorical language. Child Development, 51, 1110-1119.
Seidenberg, P.L., & Bernstein, D.K. (1986). The comprehension of similes and metaphors by learning disabled and nonlearning-disabled children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 17, 219-229.