Descriptive Writing using

Similes and Metaphors


5th Grade Micro-Teaching Lesson Plan

Carolyn Bulkley

December 3, 2003



Learning Objective:

             The student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of descriptive writing using similes and metaphors by writing a short passage describing a landscape photograph using at least one simile and one metaphor.



  • Provide details and ideas to support examples.
  • Use a variety of words, demonstrating an awareness of impact on audience.

Assessment:  The student will be assessed by writing a simile and a metaphor to describe a landscape photograph.



  • Landscape photos (4)  From old calendars mounted on construction paper
  • Graphic organizer
  • List of examples of similes and metaphors on poster board

Time:  15-20 minutes


Anticipatory Set: 3 minutes

  • Show one landscape picture… Ask students think about how they would describe this landscape to someone who cannot see…jot down one or two sentences to describe the picture…WAIT…call on volunteers to share.
  • Today we are going to learn about similes and metaphors… tools an author uses to describe something by drawing a comparison between two unlike things.
  • A simile is a comparison using the words like or as
  • A metaphor is a comparison that does not use the words like or as
  • Model…Using the poster board…read examples of simile and metaphor…


Procedure:  12 minutes (6 minutes compliment circle, 6 minutes writing exercise)

  • Review the definition of a simile and metaphor
  • Inside-Outside compliment circle...say something positive about your partner using a simile…model…you can run as fast as a cheetah….partners listen and think if this is a simile and why is it a simile…switch….Check for understanding by listening to the complimentary sentences…may need to remodel or repeat
  • Move over one space…same procedure using a metaphor Check for understanding by listening to the complimentary sentences…may need to remodel or repeat
  • Return to seats
  • Ask students to think of a simile that describes the landscape and share with a neighbor, think, pair, share
  • Wait
  • Call on pairs to share
  • Repeat with metaphor
  • Pin/ Tape/ Clip up the remaining landscape photos….ask students to begin thinking of some similes and metaphors they can use to describe the photos
  • Check for understanding…thumbs up if you think you can write a sentence using similes and metaphors to describe one of these photographs
  • Hand out and model how to use the Graphic organizer to help plan similes and metaphors
  • As students begin to write walk around to conference with individuals and check for understanding.
  • As individuals complete their organizer, they should begin writing the descriptive paragraph.



·        Read and share sentences…can you guess what picture the sentence is describing

·        Ticket out…say a sentence containing a simile or a metaphor describing a landscape photo.





            Teaching this mini lesson was a wonderful learning experience.  In my opinion, this lesson was much more successful than the previous lesson that I taught at Oak Hills.  I feel that I had a better grasp on the timing, and more importantly, I feel that I finally grasped an understanding on how important it is to connect every single part of the lesson back to the primary objective.

            Prior to teaching this lesson I asked Megan (my observer) to pay attention to my checking for understanding and modeling because these are the two elements that I was trying to emphasis through the writing of this particular lesson.  I was impressed by the detailed comments that Megan wrote while I taught my lesson, and I am in agreement with her thoughts.

            In response to the comment on the girl who was “spacing out,” I noticed that she was spacing out at the beginning of the lesson; however, I did not want to draw any negative attention to her so I continued on and paid special attention to her when I was checking for understanding.  I feel that by the end of the lesson she was able to successfully demonstrate an understanding of similes and metaphors.  I agree with Megan’s suggestion about letting the students write and underling the examples written on the poster board as that may help the students feel more connected to the content.  I was surprised and frightened by Megan’s comment about my working despite all of the commotion in the room.  I was surprised because I had no idea that there was any commotion in the room, and I was frightened by my not noticing the commotion in the room; I am going to have to work on my classroom with-it-ness.

            When I taught the previous lesson I had to make a lot of on-the-spot changes and modifications.  This time I only had to slightly deviate from the lesson plan.  Thinking that I would be teaching a larger group, I originally planned on having the students do an “Inside-outside compliment circle” using similes and metaphors.  When I saw that I would only be teaching three students I had two choices: drop the inside-outside circle from the lesson or make a quick adjustment.  In an attempt to keep the lesson varied and interesting we did a variation of the circle.  

            Overall, I feel that this lesson went well.  Through conversations with each student I saw that they each had an understanding of similes and metaphors.  Some changes that I would make to this lesson, or a possible extension to this lesson is to ask the students to look for similes and metaphors in poetry and song lyrics, emphasizing metaphors.