Metaphors & Similes: Redefining and Transforming Objects

Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this lesson, students will work in small groups to design concrete examples of metaphors and similes that incorporate everyday objects and a 3Doodler to embellish. Objects will be assembled as a mobile.

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Lesson Plan


Step 1

As a whole group, review how to transform a simile into a metaphor. Example: "The man is as courageous as a lion." "The man IS a courageous lion.

Step 2

(Optional: Share the art of 3D illustrator, Victor Nunez

Share the goal: Transform one object into another. Transform a related simile into a metaphor. Then assemble as mobile.

Step 3

Review random objects displayed on table. How can an object be redefined as another object?

Step 4

Sketch 3 possible ideas on scrap paper. Place an object on the paper. "What other object or thing does this object look like?"
Example: A Q-tip looks like a tiny baton for a miniature majorette. Place Q-tip on paper and sketch the majorette holding it.

Step 5

Create a Stencil: Draw stencil design with pencil on paper. The stencil is the outline of the 3Doodled part(s) you will be welding to your object.

Step 6

Use a 3Doodler to trace over pencil lines and fill in the outline.
Allow a minute or two to harden. Peel plastic filament off the paper. Weld to object using warm dots of 3Doodler filament.

Step 7

Write a related simile and metaphor about the 3Doodled object.

Example A: Between her nimble fingers, the baton appears as weightless as a Q-tip. *simile

Example B: Between her nimble fingers, the baton is a weightless Q-tip. *metaphor

Step 8

Model how to string 3Doodled objects to a hanger or cardboard strip to create a mobile. Each mobile should contain 2-3 transformed objects based on similes/metaphors.

Step 9

Divide students into groups of 2-3. Hand out scrap paper and pencils and allow students to choose an object from the table to transform. Each student in a group will add one object to their group's mobile.
(Optional: Visit Enchanted Learning for ideas on how to create mobiles)

Step 10

Circle to guide, assist and assess as students work on stencils, 3Doodling and mobiles.

Wrap Up

On a Google Doc or paper, students share the simile and metaphor that goes with each object. Students share their mobiles with the class and discuss associated figurative language. Ask, "How did transforming an object with 3Doodler make it easier to write similes and metaphors?"


Review students' "3Doodled" objects to gauge their level of understanding.

Possible Extensions

Use green screen technology to overlay the created object against an appropriate setting, e.g., the tree in a forest, the majorette on a football field, the hot air balloon in the sky. Contrast the color of the background screen & subject; be careful of white, black, gray; avoid red, yellow, brown; use a saturated color filament, if possible.



  • metaphor - a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

  • simile - a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

In This Lesson

Students will create concrete expressions of similes and metaphors using classroom objects.

Common Core

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

In This Lesson

Students will write a summary of their 3Doodled objects that includes related similes and metaphors.

Next Gen Science

Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

In This Lesson

Students will work in pairs to meet selected criteria to construct a concrete example of a simile and related metaphor.

Next Gen Science

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

In This Lesson

Students will work in pairs to sketch various design possibilities based on similes and metaphors before selecting one to doodle.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to create concrete examples of similes and metaphors.


Exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

In This Lesson

Students will demonstrate willingness and competency within an open-ended task with more than one possible outcome.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will repurpose objects with a 3Doodler.

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