Friday, March 15, 2013

The Best of Mentor Texts for teaching Similes & Fun Activities

It's my new adventure to post the top books I use as mentor texts to teach of figurative language. I have teachers ask me all the time what texts they can use as "mentor texts" to help them teach a certain subject matter or genre. Today's post is all about Similes. Similes use like or as to compare one thing, with something of another kind. For example, I am as brave as a lion, I am as small as an ant. Authors use similes quite often, and students are expected to identify them in writing, and they are also asked to explain their meanings. Here is a list of the best books I know to help teach similes. (feel free to let me know if you have any that were not on the list!)

1. Quick as a Cricket by Audrey and Don Wood
2. Crazy Like a Fox by Loreen Leedy
3. My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven

Introduction: Teach a five to ten minute lesson on similes. Introduce what a simile is, and explain how authors use similes in their writing. Read Mentor text #1. Have students practice writing some similes and explaining their meaning to a shoulder/table group partner. I have them use white boards. Upon sending students back to their seat, I explain that I will choose a couple of examples to write on the chart paper. 

Day 2: Review the lesson on similes you discussed yesterday. Re-read examples that students gave you. Read Mentor text #2, and then have them go over the same process again. Send them to work with a partner, or with their table group to come up with a simile, and explain its meaning.
Optional: The Trading Game
On sentence strips using similes with one part missing. I write at lest two sentences per table group. I usually end up with about 15 sentence strips.
Ex: I am as quick as a __________________.
I am as slow as a___________________.
I am as tired as a __________________.
I am like a _____________________, I ate too much at school.
She was like a __________________, she blew through town so quickly!
On index cards, you will have the missing words written:
cricket, sloth, teacher, cow, tornado
Pass out the sentence strips (2) and index cards (2) to each table group *Make sure they don't match!*
Tell them when you count to three, they must match the correct index cards to their simile sentence. They can pick a "runner" to go to the other tables to find their missing words. The group done first is the winner.
But...before you can win, your WHOLE group must read the sentences correctly.

Day 3: Review the lesson on similes you discussed the past two days. Re-read examples that students gave you. Read Mentor text #3 now, and then send them to work with a partner, or with their table group to come up with another simile, and explain its meaning. 

Culminating activity class simile book. Once finished, I place it in our classroom library for students to read through all year. They love noting a simile when they hear it in a book. :)
Sorry it's sideways!

Have fun!

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