“Similes” pre-teaching conceptualization will combine language and creativity; it will also focus on the definition and nature of similes together with their use as figures of speech for students in grade 6-7. The learning process will ensure the students gain a wide perspective of similes and their meanings together with their use in language. Students will also get to know the use of conjunctions “like” and “as” used in similes.
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They will learn how to differentiate similes from other forms of figurative language such as metaphors. Learning similes can be difficult for a number of students but this can be simplified by use of activities that create fun and involve the whole class.
In order for learning to be considered meaningful, it should be active, constructive, intentional and metacognitive. The activities in this unit will not only fall under the above learning processes but also on different levels of Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. Below are examples of the different levels together with their objectives.
Knowledge– students will be able to give examples of similes. They will also identify similes from the stories I read during class work. This will demonstrate their ability to understand the use of similes in texts. For example, he is as fast as a cheetah used in a story to emphasize the speed at which an activity was carried out.
Comprehension– students will be able to state what similes are. Here, they will be required to identify the underlying difference between similes and other figures of speech. For example, the major difference between a simile and other figures of speech is that as simile utilizes “like” and “as” in drawing comparisons.
Application – students will be able to display a probable use of similes in speech. This will involve dividing them into groups where they will engage in activities that will enable them identify similes used in poems and books. They will also write their own similes and further show the use of similes in poems. For example, a simile is used to enhance meaning of the text.
Analysis – students will be able to discuss how to use similes in stories and poems. For example, how a simile can be used to enhance the theme of a poem. They will also discuss what makes the simile suitable in bringing out meaning according to the context of the poem. For example he ran a fast as lighting emphasizes on speed thus this simile will be suitable in emphasizing the aspect of speed in the poem.
Synthesis – students will be able to form their own similes. In groups they will write down similes based on a list of words that I will provide. For example they will form similes from the words; hare, chameleon, cheetah. Then a simile with the word “cheetah” will read- At the sound of the gun shots John ran as fast as a cheetah.
Evaluation – students will portray what they have learnt in both oral and written forms independently. Each student will write a poem using similes. For example a student will compose a poem using a simile as the title of the poem.
I will have a book from which I will read a story that is “rich” in figurative language. Also, the students will be informed on what shall be learned for the next three weeks. They will also be divided into groups of 4-5 that will be used for different tasks in the course of the unit.
An introduction to unit: I will offer a definition of the word “simile” as a figure of speech used to compare two nouns by utilizing the words “like” or “as”. As outlined in the anticipatory set.
Identification of similes-They will be able to know similes that use “like” and give a few examples. For example, her face was like flames of fire when she got the bad news. The examples will be put into use during class activities at prior knowledge section.
Identification of similes-They will learn how to use “as” in similes and give a few examples. For example, Peter is as wise as a hare. The examples will be put into use during class activities at prior knowledge section.
Formulation of simile-Students will learn how to write similes without using “like” or “as” and how to differentiate these similes from metaphors. For example
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He is livelier than the choir (Simile).
She is an elephant in matters of law (Metaphor).
These examples will be put to use in the creativity section.
Compose poem-Students will learn how to incorporate similes in writing poems and other types of literature. For example, I will give them a topic like “The last day in school” where I will direct them to use a number of similes in the poem. These examples will be put to use in the creativity section.
Students in grade 6-7 have some knowledge on figures of speech. To evaluate how much they know about similes, numerous group activities will be done. The first activity will involve the whole class. During the activity, I will read a script containing smiles and the students will shout “yes” once they have heard a simile. The one who gets it right will receive a clap from the rest of the students.
This activity will be a test for the students’ knowledge of similes. I will also avail examples of figures of speech and ask the students to classify them in their respective groups. For example, as fast as a cheetah is a simile while he is a cheetah when he runs is a metaphor.
According to Piaget’s levels of development, at this stage, children are under the concrete operational stage. During this stage, they can focus on matters happening in the external environment as well as analyze them logically. According to Piaget, teachers should incorporate learning activities that will enable the children learn by themselves through observation of concrete objects.
Since the development pace varies from child to child, I have outlaid varying kind of assignments that will suit his or her development. The children will compose assignments similar to the matters that often surround them. During this they will correlate their similes with what they have learnt.
The children will also compare the events that happen in the class environment to those of the external environment and indicate their satisfaction.
For example a student may identify a sport that is easy to him and then go ahead to compare it to the lesson activity that they find equally easy. For instance, a student who considers football an easy sport may formulate a simile that goes, “Learning similes is as easy as playing football’.
This is a continuation of the knowledge acquired from the prior knowledge section. Initially, I will try to establish how much the students know about figures of speech basing on their classification at the prior knowledge section. In case their knowledge on the topic is not sufficient, we will carry out a review before introducing the new concept.
Students will be required to classify figures of speech in their categories and provide reasons for this classification. For example they should tell me she is a cheetah when she runs is a metaphor since it involves an indirect comparison of two nouns. Later, I will introduce them to another figure of speech: smiles.
I then tell them similes are figures of speech that draws comparison between two nouns by utilizing the conjunctions “as” or “like”. Students will be asked if they know more about similes and the answers will be recorded for comparison by the end of the unit.
I will ensure that each student understands the various categories of smiles and how the similes are applied in varying situations. I will also tell the class of the projects I have in mind like simile construction and composition of poems.
By the end of the sub-section, the children will be assigned to write down similes and identify a number of poems that utilize similes. They will be required to differentiate a simile from a metaphor. For example, I will ensure they clearly differentiate between metaphors and smiles.
This will be shown by clearly displayed examples such as “life is a journey”. Here, the children should be in a position to differentiate the use of the metaphor from the simile; “life is like a journey”.
There are a number of learning theories that endeavour to explain the reason as to why some things are learnt and not others. Motivation is thus directly linked to these theories. Learning theories define the most effective means through which learning materials can be delivered to learners. This involves combining a number of approaches as there is no single method that is sufficient to motivate students.
Motivation has a direct link and a great significance in enhancing learning. There are two forms of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. The former is a form of motivation that comes from within but the latter is a form of motivation that comes from without.
The cognitive theory integrates both form of motivation. It is assumed that we either take action as a result of intrinsic motivation or it is a function of both.
By giving examples of similes that relate to real life situations, the students can connect well with the topic at hand. For example a student can say life is as hard as granite. Another way that I will use to motivate students is by ensuring that the learning process is as participatory as possible.
Motivation also enhances confidence. The students can participate both in class and in group work because they know that even if they are wrong they will be corrected gently. I hold the view that the group exercise is a significant motivator to my students. I believe that rewarding best performing individuals or groups is a great motivator too, and I will also deliver punishment if need be since I do not tolerate improper behavior in class.
I also believe in giving feedback to my students in regard to their assignments, this way they can understand what is right and maintain it or what they did wrongly and correct it. I will reward the student who gives the largest number of similes by offering lunch on the last day of the unit.
The greatest motivation for this unit will be that the student who writes the best poem will present it to the whole school during the school’s annual general meeting.
These children will be working on activities that will enable them discover the figurative use of language. Through formulation of smiles, they will discover how language can be creatively used in communication It will be more interesting if the children can form smiles by themselves.
Discovery occurs in the process of development. To help the children discover their abilities, the children will be issued with various poetic books and aided to read and understand the smiles contained in the books. For example a student will identify how a simile has been used to enhance the meaning of a poem. Additionally, the students will participate in discussion sessions that will enhance the use of smiles.
During the sessions, the children will be asked to apply the learnt smiles in their conversations. Afterwards, the children will formulate smiles in their own words depending on the environments they are interacting with.
This will be essential in approving the discovery of the students. For example, a learner may compare the poetic material with other study materials. This may involve use of a smiles like; “I wish all the learning materials were as interesting as poetry books”.
I believe that students learn best when they enjoy what they are doing. Theoretical approaches tend to be monotonous and boring. In an effort to create an active learning environment, I have designed a number of activities that will make learning similes more interesting. By incorporating participatory learning, the students will feel they are a part of the lesson and thereby concentrate, enjoy the lesson and learn more.
I believe that it is the teacher’s responsibility to create interest in the students. I have included a fun activity where by the students will be provided with fruits and vegetables which they will use in the practice of writing similes. For example one student in a group will hold an orange then the rest will write a simile about an orange in his or her composition book which I will later mark and give a feedback.
For example a student will write the simile your face is as round as an orange. The learning activities that I have used in this unit make the learning experience more interactive and memorable.
Creativity in this concept is made better by allowing the students compose similes poems and participating in group work. They can then extend their studies to other forms of figurative language based on the knowledge they have received on similes.
This occurs at two levels. In a class set up, there are students who have extremely high intellectual levels. Additionally, there are those who have very low intellectual levels. This requires the teacher to be sensitive enough to enhance sufficient development in both levels.
In an effort to ensure the lesson activities addresses the needs of all the students, I will adopt a number of modifications while at the same time organize additional activities for the slow learners and fast learners respectively. For the slow learners I will go an extra mile to provide the meaning of the vocabularies together with their attributes were necessary.
Providing these meanings will ensure that the students are able to easily figure out how the comparison between the two nouns used in the simile is arrived at. For example using a simile like he is as black as tar, I will define the key vocabularies which are black and tar. I will define black as a dark color and tar as a substance that is usually black in color which is obtained from organic material.
An understanding of the definition of black and tar together with its attribute will enable the student understand how the comparison between the two nouns was arrived at. That is, the two nouns share an attribute of darkness. This knowledge will be useful to them when it comes to simile construction.
I will also work with volunteers who will be required to summarize and reinforce the day’s lesson activities at the end of the lesson. The volunteers are mainly the fast learners who will help the slow learners remember what has been taught.
For instance, the volunteers will redefine similes, offer a few examples of similes and explain their use in literary compositions like poems. The volunteers aim is to help the slow learners understand the lesson all over again while at the same time reinforcing the main points.
I will also moderate the amount of work by giving them a task at a time. This way they will be able to work on their assignments without feeling pressurized.
For example, I will ask them to identify similes, after they have identified, I will ask them to explain meaning and so on. This way they will be able to exhaustively explore one area of study before moving to the next. This way, they will eventually understand the whole topic at their own pace.
The fast learners will be allowed to work ahead in the text book on the same topic of study provided it is at their own pace. For example they can look at other figures of speech like metaphors and establish how they differ from similes. For example they can establish that a metaphor does not use “like” or “as” in drawing comparison between two nouns.
They can also work on similes but at a greater depth for example they can identify longer and more complex similes and later share their findings with the rest of the class or in their groups. For example they can identify a simile like “Death has affected me many times; it was like the invisible salt in the waves”. They will then establish the indirect comparison of death to the invisible salt in the waves.
Measurement and Evaluation
Grading of this concept will be based on the group assignments that involved composition of poems and similes. The literary compositions will be graded basing on imaginative and creative use of language. I will expect the students to showcase a mastery of skills since throughout the unit; they have handled several tasks on the topic.
The test for the learners will be on the various aspects learnt throughout the course. An emphasis will be laid upon development at various stages of the course. For example, learners will be tested and graded according to their ability to complete simile sentences, retrieve smiles from poems, form smiles from metaphors and compose poems. Other parts will include figurative speeches and grammar use.
The group project of composing poems will be graded by the end of the unit. Students who perform well in their compositions by submitting poems that follow the rules of poetry composition will receive a higher credit. For example the students will be required to submit a poem in which a simile has been used.
There are those who will incorporate similes in their compositions while others will use similes as titles of their poems. The evaluation will be dependent on the fact that they adhered to instructions (showing the use of the simile in delivering the general message of the text).
Students will take one formal test at the end of the unit that will cover the definition and nature of similes, examples and their use in speech. For analysis, each student will write a descriptive essay on similes that will assess their mastery of this topic. Group work will also be considered in which each group will submit a written assignment on a composed poem.
I will check on creativity, spelling, grammar and the use of figurative language. Each student will be expected to provide a sentence for the poem and he or she must incorporate similes in his or her poem. For example one student can start with this line, – At the sound of the gun short John ran as fast as a cheetah. Then the rest add up to this to make a poem which addresses the thematic concern of speed.
They will then choose one of them who will present the findings to the whole class. Students will also receive marks for group work. The final grade will depend on the two assignments plus a final formal test. My satisfaction on their understanding will depend on whether a better part of the class can write their own similes and apply the same knowledge in writing poems appropriately.
Application and Transfer
Here the students will be required to integrate the concepts they have learnt with other fields. The learners will thus apply the knowledge acquired to other subjects.
This knowledge will be easily transferable to subjects such as music. They will be in position to write songs with figurative language as learned during the studies. For example, the written poems can be sung.
The unit can also be transferred to Art if the students are asked to draw or color objects that describe similes. For example a student can draw a rose flower, color it red, and write a simile. This will be read as follows “she wore a blouse that was as red as a rose flower.