Package 3-2: Identifying metaphor

This lesson is the second of three lessons which aim to build understanding of a metaphor.

Week 4 - Package 2 - Year 5 and 6 English/literacy - Identifying metaphor

Things your child will need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task.


Back up

Before your child starts

This lesson is the second of three lessons which aim to build student understanding of metaphor.

What is a metaphor?

A metaphor is a resemblance between one thing and another is declared by suggesting that one thing is another, for example 'My fingers are ice'. Metaphors will say that something is something else by using verbs such as is, are, were and was.

Literary devices

Literary devices are used in texts to connect with the reader and convey meaning. As your child reads they are beginning to recognise simple literary devices used by authors. Your child is also beginning to learn how to explain why the author has used the device. In narratives or stories, authors might use literary devices such as personification, similes, alliteration, onomatopoeia and imagery to engage the reader and allow them to visualise the setting and characters.

Figurative language

Figurative language creates comparisons by linking the senses and the concrete to abstract ideas. Words or phrases are used in a non-literal way for particular effect, for example simile, metaphor, personification. Figurative language may also use elements of other senses, as in hearing with onomatopoeia, or in combination as in synaesthesia

What your child needs to do

Your child will watch a video of a lesson about identifying metaphors. The teacher will guide your child as they learn how to identify, explain and create examples of a metaphor.

Throughout the lesson, your child will be asked to pause the video to complete an activity on the activity sheet.

By the end of the lesson, your child will have activities to support them to be able to:

  • understand what a metaphor is
  • find examples of metaphor in texts
  • explain the impact of the metaphor.

What your child can do next

Your child will be completing a range of activities, including:

  • revising what metaphor is
  • finding metaphors within text extracts
  • completing an activity sheet to analyse the metaphor’s impact.

Options for your child

Activity too hard?

Work with your child to look for the clues in the metaphors: is and was.

Reinforce the message that it is saying something IS something else.

Activity too easy?

Your child might like to explore the idea of extended metaphors. Exploring poetry is a great place to find extended metaphors. Extended metaphors continue to develop the connection between two things, for example, hope and sun.

Extension/additional activity

Your child might like to create a piece of artwork that shows a metaphor.

Activity sheet 1: Identifying metaphors

Your task

  • Highlight examples in the text extracts – look for clues with is, was, are, were, has.
  • Circle the two things being connected.
  • Explain the impact of the metaphor on the text with annotations.

Example 1

A wombat is a hairy tank

designed to bulldoze country gardens.

I’ll devour your yellow roses,

belch, then beg a thousand pardons.

- Poem extract from ‘A Hairy Tank’ by Jenny Blackford from the School Magazine

Why do you think the author used this metaphor? Write your answer in the space below.

Example 2

Reluctantly he stuck the snorkel back in his mouth and put his head under. Near the bottom, in the mist left from the abalone gathering, a huge blue shadow twitched and quivered. There it was, not a shark, but the biggest fish he had ever seen. It was gigantic. It had fins like ping pong paddles. Its tail was a blue-green rudder. It looked as big as a horse.

- Blueback, Tim Winton, 2008.

Why do you think the author used this metaphor? Write your answer in the space below.

Example 3

The train is a birdcage

of twitters,


of sitters and silent

pacers, rock ‘n’ rollers

and beyond-the-window-gazers.



for the freedom

of an open door.

- In Captivity, by Claire Saxby from the School Magazine.

Why do you think the author used this metaphor? Write your answer in the space below.

                  Return to top of page Back to top