A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things by employing the words "like", "as", or "than". Even though both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison, similes indirectly compare the two ideas and allow them to remain distinct in spite of their similarities, whereas metaphors compare two things directly. For instance, a simile that compares a person with a bullet would go as follows: "Chris was a record-setting runner as fast as a speeding bullet." A metaphor might read something like, "When Chris ran, he was a speeding bullet racing along the track." A mnemonic for a simile is that "a simile is similar or alike." Similes have been widely used in literature for their expressiveness as a figure of speech: Dickens, in the opening to 'A Christmas Carol', says "But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile." A simile can explicitly provide the basis of a comparison or leave this basis implicit.
In an effort to provide you with as many resources as possible, this is the section reserved for activities to help students learn all about similes. There are now 18 similes worksheets in this section but you can expect more to be added soon. Your intermediate students will enjoy this activity for practicing similes and idioms. All the materials you need are included even the lesson plan but you are more than welcome to adapt it to suit your students better. For example, perhaps instead of an introduction, you may choose to use it as a review. If you are interested in a different type of exercise, look at the other worksheets on similes. You can use the worksheets as they are or just use them as inspiration for your own.
A simile is a figure of speech. When introducing similes to your students, approach the topic as you would a new type of sentence structure. Focus on creating similes using one structure as a time. Sentences like He is as brave as a lion. use a common simile structure but you can also use like and than to create similes. By introducing one structure at a time, you can ensure that students understand the material before moving on. Besides having students create similes using common structures, test comprehension by asking them to explain the meaning behind their sentences. This is good practice because it gives them the opportunity to paraphrase which requires using synonyms and drawing on a larger pool of vocabulary.