10 Fun Middle School Activities For Learning Similes And Metaphors

Can you point out the difference between the sentences “Her eyes are as bright as stars” and “She is starry-eyed”. 

The first sentence uses a simile to compare one thing with another, denoting that her eyes are as bright as the stars. The second sentence uses a metaphor, directly stating that her eyes are starry.

Metaphors and similes are a part of figurative speech that make their way into our everyday language without us even realizing it.

This blog will illustrate several activities that can be done by middle school learners to better understand and use this part of speech.

Engaging classroom activities to practice similes and metaphors

Identifying, differentiating, and appropriately using metaphors and similes takes practice. But this practice can be made fun by teaching the concepts using activities. Grammar can be fun if inculcated through some activities and games. Hence, a few such activities for similes and metaphors have been given below.

1. Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself

For this activity, the learner needs to have a basic understanding of what similes and metaphors mean and how to use them in a sentence. This activity can be given as homework right after the concept of similes and metaphors is introduced in class.

The learner has to go home and prepare an introduction for themselves using similes and metaphors. When the learner gives this introduction in front of the class, the task of other learners could be to identify and differentiate between the similes and metaphors used in the introduction.

By not only hearing about similes and metaphors in the class but personally applying the concept to themselves, learners will be able to better understand and retain the concept. 

2. Sort it out

Sort it out

For this activity, the educator needs to bring several chits with various similes and metaphors written on them. They will also need two bowls, one for metaphors and one for similes.

The class can be divided into groups of 4 and given 10-15 chits. The goal of these groups would be separate the metaphors from the similes. The task could be timed and the group per team to finish the task fastest and with the most accuracy can be given a reward.

Similes and metaphors are both figurative parts of speech. When learned together, they can often be confused with one another. A fun game could be just the tool that incentivizes the learners to better understand the differences between the two.

3. Sing me a song 

Sing me a song 

For this activity, a sound system with speakers would be required. The learners would be asked to bring the recording of their favorite songs or poems. Those comfortable with singing the song or reading the poem in the class could do that as well. The goal of this activity would be to identify the metaphors and/or similes used by the singer or the poet.

Every song or poem uses figurative language, including metaphors and similes. Identifying and learning the same from the songs or poems they like could make the process fun and engaging for the learners. They could also learn some unique similes and metaphors during the activity.

4. Cut and Paste 

For this activity, various picture books, newspapers, and magazines would be required. The learners would also need glue, scissors, pens, paints, markers, and colors.

The learners could cut out, draw, and, in pairs, make a collage of various metaphors like a couch potato, a rollercoaster of emotions, etc. Then the pairs can come up together and present what they have created while the rest of the class guesses the common metaphors represented in the collage.

Visually representing various metaphors could give the learners a chance to use their creativity. This activity could also help with better retention and increase the number of metaphors every learner in the class knows.

5. Who am I? 

Who am I? 

For this activity, the educator will have to prepare several cards, each with a metaphor written on them. The class can be divided into two groups. Each group takes a turn by sending a person from their group who looks at the metaphor. That person’s job is to act out the metaphor to their group.

There could be a 45-60 seconds timer, under which the person has to make their group guess what the metaphor is. At the end of all the cards, the group with the highest number of correct guesses wins. The element of competition coupled with teamwork can not only help in understanding the concept of metaphors better but also build class unity and cohesiveness. 

6. Describe Me

Describe Me

For this activity, no materials or objects are required. Every learner gets a turn to stand in front of the class while their classmates use various similes like bright as the moon or sweet like chocolates to describe their personalities.

This simple activity will not only make the day much more pleasant for each learner but will also teach them how to use similes in their daily life.

7. Match the simile

 Match the simile

 For this activity, the teacher will need to prepare several cards or chits with similes written on them. These chits or cards would be in pairs such that if one card reads ‘dark as the’, the other card should read ‘night’.

These cards will be jumbled up and the goal of the learners will be to find the appropriate match for the similes. Through this activity, the learners will actually understand how similes are made. They might also end up making some unique pairing like matching ‘bright like the’ with ‘moon’ instead of ‘day’. 

8. Fill in the blank

Fill in the blank

For this activity, the educator needs to prepare several prompts for similes like ‘cool as the’, ‘soft like’, etc. These prompts can be presented to the class one by one, which can be divided into two groups. The groups would have to come up with as many endings as possible in under 15 seconds. At the end of all prompts, the group that comes up with the most number of similes wins.

The learners will get a chance to be creative, work together and come up with new similes. This will increase their knowledge of simile construction and help foster a sense of teamwork within the class.

9. Paint a metaphorical picture

Paint a metaphorical picture

For this activity, no material is required. Each learner will get a chance to come up in front of the class and using metaphors, describe a place, thing, event, or the person everyone in the class knows. Other learners will have to guess based on the clues given in the metaphors.

This activity will teach the learners how to write their own metaphors and use them while speaking. It will expand their vocabulary and teach them how to figuratively describe a variety of things, a skill essential for creative writing.

10. The writer in me 

The writer in me

For this activity, each learner would be required to write a poem or a story with ample use of similes and metaphors. When the learner reads their poem or story out loud in front of the class, the rest of the class would be required to identify the similes and the metaphors as well as differentiate between them.

This activity will teach the learners how to identify the use of figurative language in stories and poems and what they could signify. This could give them a chance to air their creative sides and use figurative language in their own pieces. An additional benefit could be a boost in confidence from sharing their work with their fellow learners.

Other interactive ways to master the art of similes and metaphors

Figurative speech can seem like a tough nut to crack but once understood, it can enhance the writing, speaking as well as reading experience of the individual. Just like other concepts of the English language like vocabulary, grammar, and even articles, similes and metaphors can be mastered in daily life by doing some regular activities as well. These can include:

1. Reading

The more the individual reads, the more likely they are to come across things they didn’t previously know. This can include new words that improve their vocabulary to new ways of saying something that improves their figurative speech.

Reading as a habit does not only help in learning what metaphors and similes are and how to differentiate between them but also in how to appropriately use them in sentences and even make up your own.

2. Creative Writing

The more you exercise a skill, the better and easier it gets. Using figurative language is one such skill. 

Creative writing gives the learners the opportunity to not only use well-known figurative speech, including metaphors and smilies but also make their own. They can make up a poem that is just one big metaphor or write stories that contain a lot of similes. Figurative speech can add flair to their writing and give them a chance to express their creativity.

3. Online Games

Learning doesn’t always have to be lectures and notes, and assignments. It can also be made fun, thanks to technological advancements in the area of education.

There are several online games available that make understanding and using similes and metaphors easy and accessible. With the use of creative examples and bright and colorful graphics, these audio-visual tools take learning to the next level.


Metaphors and similes in a piece of speech or writing are like sprinkles on top of a cupcake. The message can be communicated without them, just as the cupcake can satiate hunger without the sprinkles. But, with figurative speech, the message becomes much more relatable, appealing, and effective.

Understanding and mastering these parts of speech is easy and can be achieved by specialized classroom activities like ‘Fill in the blank’ and ‘Who Am I’, as well as daily life activities like reading and writing.

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