Empowering Writers

May 2011 Lesson of the Month

May is a good time to celebrate the people in your life, mothers and grandmothers especially. It’s hard to find the words sometimes to tell the people who are important to you how you feel. This lesson gives students a chance to share the love in a greeting card with a creative poem using simile and figurative language.

Here’s what to do:

1) Tell the class that they’ll be creating special Mother’s Day Cards for either their Mom and/or another special Mom who has made a difference in their lives. It could be a grandmother, aunt, neighbor, or anyone who has “been like a mother” to them.

2) Explain that they will be using language in a special way as the text for their card. Write the following on the board and discuss it with the class:

Figurative Language:describing someone or something by comparing it to something or someone else.

Simile: Comparing someone or something using the word “as” or “like. “Ex. Shannon was as angry as a hornet.

3) With the entire class, generate a list of adjectives that describe the mother they are thinking of.

Ex. lovely

strong

smart

reliable

generous

bright

fun

4) Then, next to each adjective, write a number of different objects or people that share that trait:

Ex.lovely – rose, sunset, sunrise, ocean, princess

strong – concrete, steel, lion,

smart – professor, scientist, encyclopedia

reliable-alarm clock, Old Faithful, sun, moon

generous – Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy

bright- star, neon light, sun, moon

fun-amusement park, carnival, video game

5) Show the class how they can select the adjective(s) they want and write a short text for their card:

Ex. Mom – you are as lovely as a rose,

strong as a lioness,

bright as a star…

and I love you.

Have children try their hand at this. Circulate and offer feedback.

6) Next, make the card. A collage is one way to create an interesting, artistic cover. Go to Google images and select photos of the objects or people selected. (Ex.for the sample, above, you could select and print a variety of images of roses, lioness, stars. Cut these out and arrange in overlapping fashion. Glue down. Add glitter, if desired. Another option is to have students draw a picture of each object they selected, cut it out, and glue down in an artful arrangement. Then, inside, place the message. This can be typed with an interesting font, or hand-written.

7) When finished, review the terms figurative language and simile.

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