ELA 4: Similes and Metaphors

A metaphor is a simile, just minus the "like" or "as." We'll learn all about how not to be confused by either in today's video.

4th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:15

Bright.

00:16

Sharp.

00:16

Wise.

00:17

These are all synonyms, or different words that mean more or less the same thing. [Coop explaining synonyms]

00:21

But you already knew that.

00:22

Why?

00:23

Because you’re smart.

00:23

Or clever.

00:24

Or bright.

00:25

Or…well, you get the idea.

00:26

Synonyms are great because they help make our writing more interesting and exciting. [Girls writing in class]

00:30

But what if we're not in the mood to use a synonym?

00:33

What if we’re just bored of them or tired, fed up, disinterested…

00:36

Sorry.

00:37

We kind of got on a synonym roll.

00:38

Which is a lot less delicious than a cinnamon roll. [Plate of cinnamon rolls appear]

00:41

Heh.

00:42

Well, it's a-okay to be tired of 'em!

00:43

Why?

00:44

Because there are more things that can spice up our writing! [Man in kitchen with a paper and spice pots appear]

00:47

We're talking similes and metaphors.

00:50

Like synonyms, similes and metaphors are tools that help us write more descriptively.

00:54

But how exactly do we go about using similes and metaphors? [Man holding a simile spice pot]

00:57

Let's start with a simile.

00:58

A simile is a type of figurative language that helps us compare two dissimilar things

01:02

to each other, using the words “like” or “as.” [Coop explaining what a simile is]

01:05

For example: you're a student, right?

01:07

Or maybe just an over-the-top Shmoop enthusiast…

01:09

Which is totally cool, too. [A man sitting on a bed with shmoop items]

01:11

But are you a bee?

01:12

Well, probably not, because then you wouldn’t understand a word we’re saying.

01:16

But just because a student and a bee aren't exactly the same thing doesn't mean we can't [A bee with a boys face flying near flowers]

01:20

compare them.

01:21

So we might say something like, “The student was busy as a bee.”

01:24

Why?

01:25

Well, we know that bees are always buzzing around and look super duper busy.

01:29

So if a student is as busy as a bee, that must mean that they're loaded down with work [Girl walking into school]

01:33

and zooming from one thing to the next!

01:36

It's just a way more fun way of saying, “The student is super busy.” [Girl walking in school hallway]

01:39

Here are a few more examples…

01:41

“He was as brave as a lion.”

01:42

“She was as bright as the sun.”

01:44

“She sang like an angel."

01:46

"He slept like a dog" [Examples of similes]

01:48

All of these are similes that make comparisons using like or as.

01:51

Got it?

01:52

Metaphors, on the other hand, are a little different.

01:54

They don't use “like” or “as." [Dino teaching what metaphors are]

01:56

Instead, they paint an image for the reader to picture in their head.

01:59

So while a simile uses the word as to say...

02:02

“He was as brave as a lion”

02:04

A metaphor would simply say

02:06

“He was a brave lion.”

02:08

This metaphor makes us imagine the boy as an actual brave lion, instead of just being [A lion with a boys face in tall grass]

02:12

like one.

02:13

This paints an image in the reader's head…even if it is a kind of weird image…

02:18

Other examples of metaphors that paint word pictures like this include...

02:21

“Her tears were a flowing river.”

02:23

“Her smile was a million shining stars.”

02:26

“He was a speeding race-car.” [Metaphor example sentences]

02:28

Each of these metaphors makes the reader paint an image in their head, instead of simply

02:32

comparing two things, like they would in a simile. [Girl in a cafe walks away crying]

02:34

So the next time you're trying to spice up your writing and don't feel like using a synonym,

02:38

try a simile or metaphor instead.

02:40

They're still not as delicious as a cinnamon roll, but they'll do in a pinch. [Girl eating plate of cinnamon rolls]