Happy Grinch Week, everyone! On Monday, in A Grinchy Christmas, Part 1, I shared with you how I’ve been using digital board games, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas review game. Today I would like to share with you another fun activity my students and I like to do with How The Grinch Stole Christmas, this one for practicing distinguishing between similes and metaphors.
My students really do love the book, but they love the song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” just as much. This song is filled with similes and metaphors! But before getting to the song, I introduce similes and metaphors to the class. After a mini lesson on the difference between similes and metaphors, I like to have them practice as a group. Class Hook is a great resource for short video clips from favorite movies and tv shows. You can search by entering your terms (topic, language function, type of video…) into the search box. Videos are marked with recommended grade ranges (elementary, middle school, high school), as well as topics, and relevant details (such as if it has profanity). Teachers can create playlists and view others’ comments about how they used the videos in class. You can choose to view the clips on Class Hook, or on YouTube. I searched for videos containing similes and metaphors and choose several, saving them to a playlist for future reference. In class we watch the videos and we discuss three questions:
1. Did you hear a simile or a metaphor?
2. What was the simile or metaphor that you heard?
3. What does the simile or metaphor mean?
Since we are now online, I wanted something that my students could do asynchronously, if necessary. I created a set of digital task cards, of sorts, to meet that need. Each slide has the video clip (in Slides: click Insert, Video, copy and paste the YouTube address into the search box, click the video, click Insert), a place to mark if they heard a simile or metaphor, a place to type out the figurative language they heard, and a place to type out what the figurative language means. An answer key is also included. You can have this free resource added to your Google Drive by clicking on the picture above, or this link.
After our mini-lesson on similes and metaphors, and our group practice, it is finally time for “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” I pass out copies of the lyrics to students (download a PDF using the button above), and instruct them to get two different colors of writing utensils. At the top of their paper, students use one color to write the word “simile,” and the second color to write “metaphor.” We then listen to the song without doing anything but enjoying it. The second time we listen, we underline all of the similes we hear. The third time we listen, we underline all of the metaphors we hear. We then listen a fourth time, trying to catch any figurative language examples we may have missed. The entire activity takes less than half a class period, and it’s a fun way to practice similes and metaphors.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas truly is a favorite of all my students. I love that we can practice such advanced language in such a fun way! I hope your students enjoy the activities as much as mine. Happy teaching, everyone!