What Is a Simile Poem?
Simile poems are simply poems that are built around an extended simile or a series of similes. Once you’ve taught your students that similes are comparisons using ‘like’ or ‘as’, tasking them to write simile poems is an excellent way for them to consolidate this understanding through hands-on practice.
How to Write a Simile Poem
Writing a simile poem is as easy as…
Before setting your students the task of writing a simile poem, you need to assess that they clearly understand the purpose of similes and the mechanics of how they work.
Start by ensuring your students understand that similes:
1. Create images in the reader’s mind by connecting two seemingly unconnected things
2. Make a direct comparison of two things using ‘like’ or ‘as.’
To do this, have your students practice writing some standalone similes first to allow you to assess whether they have this understanding.
Let’s take a look at some more fun activities you can do with your students to reinforce their understanding of similes:
- Have students read poems and circle the similes they find
- Read a poem to the students and have them raise their hands every time they hear a simile
- Hold a Simile Bee where you provide the contestants with a word, and they have to devise a simile using that word.
Once you’ve ensured everyone has a firm grasp on a simile and how to compose one, your students are ready to begin writing their simile poems.
FREE SIMILE POSTERS FOR YOUR CLASSROOM
How to Get Started Writing a Simile Poem
Simile Poem Writing Stage 1. Choose a Subject to Write About
The task of a poet is to give the reader new and fresh insight into the world around them. The first thing the student needs to do is choose a topic to write about.
This isn’t always easy, so you should have some suggested topics available to help kickstart your students’ pens should they struggle to develop their ideas. This will allow them to get to the task at hand quickly. Here are some suggestions for suitable topics you may wish to share with your students:
- Romantic love
- A famous person
- Specific emotions
The more advanced the students are, the more abstract the subject can be. While younger students may need to write about tangible things such as a person or an animal, older students may be up to the challenge of writing about such things as feelings and emotions and the like.
A good rule of thumb to follow here is that if the student is writing about something more ethereal, they may wish to make their comparisons with more concrete objects. This helps reader comprehension by climbing down the ladder of abstraction.
Conversely, when the student is writing about something more concrete, they can compare it with something more theoretical or universal. That is, they climb up higher on the ladder of abstraction.
Simile Poem Writing Stage 2. Brainstorm Ideas
Once the student has chosen the subject of their poem, it’s time to brainstorm. Encourage the student to unload all the ideas in their head onto the paper in a free-flowing and non-judgemental manner.
Now is the time for the student to silence the inner critic. Not all ideas will make it into the final poem, so there is no need for students to screen the worthiness of each and every idea as and when they arise.
The selection and editing process can all be done at a later stage. Right now, it’s most important that the page becomes a dumping ground for every half-baked idea that enters the student’s head – this is the source of real creativity.
As the students gather their ideas, they can begin to build them into similes, making a comparison using ‘like’ or ‘as’ between the subject or an aspect of the subject and their brainstormed idea.
Soon, the student will have gathered together a collection of similes on their subject. Now it’s time to turn those disjointed similes into a cohesive whole.
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Simile Poem Writing Stage 3. Structure the Poem
After the brainstorming exercise above, students should be left with a chaotic jumble of ideas on the page (or pages). Now is the time to bring some order to the project before writing poems that use similes.
Simile poems have no specific set structure, so this is entirely up to the student’s discretion. Sometimes the content and ideas will suggest a clear structure or order to the student; at other times, the choice of organizational logic will be arbitrary.
Of course, simile poems can be written in free verse with no regard given to the length of stanzas, rhythm, rhyme, etc.
However, conforming to some set structure can help students craft their work and avoid the occasional tendency for student poetry to degenerate into a dirge.
Suggesting some suitable structures to students to get them started can be helpful. For example, couplets and quatrains can be basic structures that offer a solid framework for students to hang their words on without being overly restrictive.
Simile Poem Writing Stage 4. Edit and Arrange
By now, the student will have decided on a subject to write about, gathered up a host of ideas and transformed these into workable similes, and built some cohesive structure on which to hang everything. The final finishing touches are now all that is required to polish the embryonic poem into a full-grown masterpiece!
At this stage of the process, please encourage your students to play around with what they have so far. Students can experiment with the order of their lines, images, and stanzas. They may like to remove words, alter, substitute, and fuse elements of their work to find the most poetically pleasing version possible.
When all this is done, a final proofread for spelling, punctuation, and grammar is in order.
EXAMPLES OF SIMILE POETRY
The weather is like a chameleon, Constantly changing its colors and moods, One day it's hot as a burning sun, And the next, it's as cold as a frozen igloo. It's like a conductor of an orchestra, Directing the wind, rain, and snow, Creating symphonies of thunder and lightning, And harmonies of a rainbow's glow. It's like a canvas of an artist, Painting the sky with vibrant hues, From the pink and orange of a sunrise, To the purple and blue of a sunset's views. The weather is like a storyteller, Whispering tales of nature's might, Through blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes, Showing us its power and its fright. So let us marvel at the weather, Like a work of art or a gripping tale, And appreciate the beauty and force, Of the ever-changing wind and hail.
Sports are like a wild adventure, A journey of passion, skill, and thrill, Where every player is a hero, And every match a battle of will. It's like a symphony of movement, With the ball as the conductor's wand, Players dance to its rhythm and beat, Creating a spectacle beyond. Sports are like a puzzle to solve, A test of strategy and wit, Each team piece together their strengths, To outmaneuver and outwit. It's like a rollercoaster ride, With twists and turns at every bend, Players ride the highs and lows, Until the game reaches its end. Sports are like a symphony of courage, Where athletes give it their all, Pushing beyond their limits, To climb the pinnacle and stand tall. So let us celebrate sports, Like a grand theatrical play, And witness the beauty and magic, Of the games that we play.
Love is like a rose in bloom, A beautiful and delicate flower, But with thorns that can prick and wound, And fragility that needs tender care. It's like a warm embrace on a cold night, A comfort that soothes the soul, A feeling that fills the heart with light, And makes us feel whole. Love is like a flame that burns, An unquenchable fire that ignites, A force that cannot be turned, And passion that cannot be denied. It's like a journey through uncharted seas, With unknown depths and currents strong, But with a steadfast hand to guide us, We sail through the storms and carry on. Love is like a treasure found, A priceless gem of rarest kind, And once we have it in our grasp, We cherish and protect it with our mind. So let us celebrate love, Like a symphony of the heart, And bask in the warmth and beauty, Of the love that sets us apart.
Horses are like majestic ships, Sailing through fields with grace and might, Their galloping hooves like waves that skip, As they take flight in their wild flight. It's like a ballet on four legs, With movements that are fluid and smooth, Their muscles ripple like ocean waves, In a dance that is nothing but pure groove. Horses are like a faithful friend, Loyal and steadfast through and through, Their soft whinnies like whispers that blend, With a love that is pure and true. It's like a dream that takes us away, To a place of freedom and adventure, Where we ride with the wind in our face, And the beauty of nature as our mentor. Horses are like an artist's muse, Inspiring paintings, poems, and song, Their beauty and power we can't refuse, And they have been celebrated all along. So let us treasure horses, Like a gift from nature's store, And revel in the wonder and magic, Of these creatures we adore.
Golf is like a delicate dance, A symphony of precision and skill, Where every move is given a chance, And every shot a moment to thrill. It's like a painter with a brush, Creating strokes that are careful and light, Each stroke a masterpiece to flush, As the ball glides towards the hole in sight. Golf is like a game of chess, Strategic moves with every play, Each shot a calculated progress, To reach the green and win the day. It's like a journey through nature's bliss, With the green fields like a canvas of green, The birds chirping in joyful bliss, As we take in the scenery serene. Golf is like a meditation of sorts, A moment of peace and tranquility, Where we leave behind all our thoughts, And embrace the moment with humility. So let us celebrate golf, Like a journey of the heart and mind, And enjoy the beauty and magic, Of the game that's one of a kind.
Toys are like little treasures, A childhood joy and wonder to behold, Each one with its unique pleasures, And stories waiting to be told. They're like tiny worlds in miniature, A place where imagination can roam, A place where anything can be a creature, And adventures are never far from home. Toys are like friends we can hold, Always there for us to play and share, Their colors and textures a story to unfold, And their cuddly forms a comfort to bear. They're like little builders of dreams, Assembling possibilities and fantasies, Creating kingdoms, empires, and themes, In a world of limitless possibilities. Toys are like a time machine, Taking us back to days of old, A remembrance of joys we have seen, And a place where memories unfold. So let us cherish our toys, Like little wonders we hold dear, And keep them close to our hearts and joys, To keep our inner child ever near.
Writing any form of poetry can be a lot of fun for students. But, for some students, poetry is the most daunting form of writing they can be asked to undertake.
Poetry can be difficult to pin down. It can be more difficult for some students to grasp the purpose of this genre of writing than it would be to grasp the purpose of instruction writing or a chronological report, for example.
For this reason, tasking students with a specific focus for their poetry-writing endeavors, in this case, similes, can go a long way to encourage them to approach poetry writing with a sense of experimentation and creativity.
By following the process above, even the most reluctant of poets should be able to produce a worthy simile poem.
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The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh. A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing, can be found here. Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.