In the summer I read the blog of Sara Kiffe, with the lovely name of Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast (Teaching Under the Big Sky). On July 2, she wrote this post, “First Day I Am Poems.” Sara didn’t stop there. Check out Sara’s super summer posts for lessons on Fibonacci Poetry, Color Poems and Saving Things Poetry.
I decided to try writing metaphors the first day of school too. I teach English to native Arabic speakers, and I had them only 45 minutes a day the first two days of school. After a mini lesson on metaphors and figurative language, each student wrote one metaphor using one of their senses, a metaphor about themselves. Most of them were able to understand and created their own metaphors.
We hung their first metaphors on a bulletin board in the hallway.
The next day they wrote a whole poem about themselves using metaphors of all kinds. The images were so sweet and some were just beautiful.
I don’t know much about the Arabic language, but from what others tell me and what I’ve experienced, it is rich in figurative language. In previous years, I’ve noticed my students have always been good at similes and metaphors, and they use them spontaneously in their writing and speaking.
Thanks, Sara, for the inspiration.