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Similes, Metaphors and Sensory Language


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Similes, Metaphors and Sensory Language. Where do we commonly find examples of figurative language?. What is a Simile?. A comparison made between two things using the words “like” or “as”. Getting the lead role in the play was unlikely to occur.

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Similes, Metaphors and Sensory Language

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Similes, Metaphors and Sensory Language

Where do we commonly find examples of figurative language?


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What is a Simile?

  • A comparison made between two things using the words “like” or“as”

  • Getting the lead role in the play was unlikely to occur.

  • Getting the lead role in the play was like trying to win the lottery.


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Simile Examples

Edward Cullen’s ghastly face was pale.

Edward Cullen’s ghastly face was as pale as the moon.


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Simile Examples

Ms. Conroy’s mind absorbed every detail of the book, The Giver.

  • Ms. Conroy’s mind was like a sponge that absorbed every detail of the book, The Giver.


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What is a Metaphor?

  • A comparison between two things, NOTusing “like” or “as.”

Nick is the best swimmer on his swim team.

Nick is the Michael Phelps of his swim team.


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How can we change the sentence from using a simile to using a metaphor?

  • Ms. Conroy’s mind was like a sponge that absorbed every detail of the book, The Giver.

  • Ms. Conroy’s mind was a sponge that absorbed every detail of the book, The Giver.


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Sensory Language

  • Writing or speech that appeals to one or more of the five senses.

  • Sight

  • Hearing

  • Touch

  • Smell

  • Taste


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Showing vs. Telling

Telling: While John began reading his poem in front of the class, he became nervous.

Showing: While John began reading his poem in front of the class, his heart started pounding. His cheeks, as red as cherries, burned like fire. His hands began to sweat, which left greasy finger prints on his paper. His voice, shaky and quivering, was almost inaudible.


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Showing vs. Telling

Telling: The pizza was delicious.

Showing: The sizzling cheese melted like butter in my mouth as the creamy tomato sauce dripped down my cheek. The pizza’s pungent aroma of garlic and basil reminded me of my grandmother’s kitchen. My teeth crunched into the crisp, brown crust and I savored every last bite.


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UB40’s Cover of The Temptation’s “The Way You Do the Things You Do”


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Let’s Answer the Questions!

  • Identify at least 5 similes/metaphors/sensory language within the lyrics.

  • What is the meaning of the figurative language that you identified?

  • What is the metaphor within the line, “If good looks were minutes, you know you could have been an hour?” What is the line’s meaning?

  • What is the overall message of the song? How does the figurative language help convey the song’s overall message?

  • What are the benefits of using metaphors, similes and sensory language instead of simply stating emotions? Support with examples from the song lyrics.


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Works Cited

  • Category. "Figures of Speech. Figurative vs Literal language.." Special Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. <http://specialed.about.com/od/literacy/a/figurative.htm>.

  • "EDSITEment - Lesson Plan." EDSITEment - The Best of the Humanities on the Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. <http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=608>.

  • "Sensory language." Changing minds and persuasion -- How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. <http://changingminds.org/techniques/language/persuasive/sensory_language.htm>.

  • " YouTube - Ub40 - The Way You Do The Things You Do ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYjpAdBf7NY>.