Ecosystem Metaphors

Purpose:  To understand metaphors and how to construct them.

Materials:  Recycled paper, pencil, colored pencils, crayons, marker, watercolor paper, watercolors, and water cups. 

Procedure:  (Discuss metaphors) 

  • Have you ever heard someone say that something was like something else but that something is completely different than the thing they are comparing it to?  Huh?  Let me give you an example, “Her smile reminds me of a warm, bright sun.”  A smile and the sun are completely different things, yet they are connected because a smile can be warm and bright just like the sun.  Let’s try another one, “A tree’s limbs remind me of a person stretching their arms out for a hug.”         
  • Have students practice metaphors with you and with each other. 
  • The definition of a metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term that ordinarily designates an object or idea is used to designate a dissimilar object or idea in order to suggest comparison or analogy.  Similes have the same definition, but use the words like or as when comparing. 
  • Encourage students to choose an ecosystem of interest to them when constructing their metaphors.  Note:  If students choose to paint, cut a piece of watercolor paint and paste on metaphor writing activity below (pdf)  
  • Students can share their work with their classmates and parents.  These can also be showcased in the classroom (see below). 
  • Students can fill in the type of ecosystem in the title of their metaphor (see pdf)
  • Note:  Wetland metaphors were created by educators from a workshop at The Nature Center in Watsonville, California.

My ______________ metaphor

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Written by _______________________________

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