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Metaphors Welcome

Metaphorical thinking requires critical thinking skills, mental flexibility, creativity, and a deep sense of understanding between the topics or items being compared. It’s a great way to check for understanding–and to help explain an idea to someone else.

The basic question for generating metaphors to check for understanding or extend thinking is:

“In what ways is/are _________ and __________ alike.”

For example:

Model train engine.Q. In what ways are expository writing and trains alike?


A. Trains carry cargo or passengers along fixed routes in the same way that expository writing takes the reader on an informational journey. Trains stick to the rails the way expository writing sticks to facts, ideas, or instructions.

The following list are some suggestions for metaphorical thinking categories we have used in my classroom. Feel free to try this strategy, steal a metaphor, or comment with category ideas of your own.

Possible Categories:

  • kitchen tools
  • structures
  • stores in a mall
  • tools in a toolbox
  • sports
  • holidays
  • Disney movies or characters
  • space
  • teachers
  • weather
  • trees, plants, or flowers
  • gardens
  • the ocean
  • book or cartoon characters
  • emoji
  • memes
  • jellybeans
  • colors
  • animals
  • super heroes
  • ice cream (or toppings)
  • pizza toppings (things you put on a hamburger…etc…)
  • snack foods
  • fruits or vegetables
  • types of transportation
  • countries
  • desserts
  • landforms


Published by

Mrs. Leung

I started teaching in 2002 and have had the pleasure of working with students in every grade from 7 to 12. I currently teach seventh grade English Language Arts and enjoy working and learning with my students.

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