Are you looking for ways to teach similes like a Rockstar? You’ve come to the right place! Students will be engaged while they learn about figurative language. It will also help you when you are discussing word choice in writing and author’s craft in reading! Read on to learn about similes!

1. Introduce Similes

A simile is when you compare two unlike things using the words like or as to show a common quality between them. 



Simile:  She runs as quick as lightning.

Literal meaning: She runs fast.


Simile:  The boy was tall like a skyscraper.

Literal meaning: The boy was very tall.


Wait a minute! I use the words like and as all the time! Have I been talking in similes my whole life? Let’s look at how to use these words to make it a simile. If you say, “I like cake,” you are not using a simile, you are expressing a feeling or opinion. When you use like in a simile, you are stating a degree of comparison. To use like in a simile, you might say “Mary’s eyes shine like stars. ”If you say, “Don watched Pete as he gave a speech,” you are stating what someone was doing, not saying a simile. Does that make sense?

2. Mentor Text

Use mentor text to point out the similes. If you have several books, place them in groups and have students find all the similes!

Some examples

  • Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood  
  • Crazy Like a Fox by Loreen Leedy
  • Little Island by Golden MacDonald
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (has the best similes!)
  • The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Gobel

Find a larger list HERE.

3. Discover Similes

Did you know that similes can be found in ad slogans, song lyrics, and even in movies? Of course, here at Rockin Resources, I have to incorporate music somehow! It gets the students excited to learn and keeps their attention.

Here are some examples, but this would be a great little research project to see what students can find!


  • Chevrolet: Built Like A Rock
  • State Farm: Like A Good Neighbor


  • My heart is like an open highway. – “It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
  • Now I’m floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee, I earned my stripes – “Roar” – Katy Perry 


  • Forrest Gump Movie:  Life is like a box of chocolates.
  • Muhammad Ali quote: “I’m going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

Check out this Step-by-Step Simile Unit with tons of practice and many more examples of mentor text, ads, and lyrics with similes!

4. Illustrations

Let the students illustrate some of the similes. Their illustrations would be super cute on a bulletin board or hall display.

5. Practice

Teaching similes can be done using a step-by-step method or you can even have activities with differentiation! In my figurative language units, these are the step I use.

STEP 1:  IDENTIFY- Underline the key words that make the similes.

STEP 2:  IDENTIFY- Write the words of the two things being compared.

STEP 3:  IDENTIFY- Find the similes in a story.

STEP 4:  APPLY- Finish the simile.

STEP 5:  APPLY- Write a simile for a specific topic.

All of the above suggestions are included in my step-by-step simile unit. In addition, the unit includes differentiated materials, task cards, projects, graphic organizers, an assessment and a Google option. Check it out to learn more about How to Teach Similes like a Rockstar!


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