Living Metaphors

Sequence of activities:

Discussion: We are going to be using metaphors to describe ourselves, life, or family. A metaphor is when we use an object to represent something else.

Step 1: Decide if you want to write about yourself, your family, or your life

Step 2: Students will ask themselves, “What can I compare my chosen topic to?” Make sure what you choose is not too vague. Now, begin to form a list of objects. For example:

1. A rollercoaster
 2. A house
 3. A swing
 4. A tree

Step 3: Students pick an anchor word. This is the word on the list they are called to the most. Students will build poem around the anchor word. For example: “My family is a Tree.”

Step 4:  Create further extensions on the lines to follow to form a poem. For example:

First extension: My Family is an old tree with many branches and deep roots.

Second extension: Our branches rarely connect with one another, but we drink from the same history, the same sap runs through all of us.  

To make the next extension I will have to think, “In what other ways is my family like a tree?”

Use all your senses to think about each extension.

Step 5: Re-read each extension out loud. Rewrite things that do not flow with your metaphor.

Step 6: Share with your family, friends, or a favorite adult.



Create a poem using everyday objects as a metaphor

Education Level: 

Junior High




Writing Prompt

Time Frame: 

1 hour

Prior Knowledge/Skills: 


Required Materials: 

Paper, writing utensil