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Lesson Plan

Wartime Poetry: Working With Similes

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Janella Page Scobie

London, United Kingdom


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



The history curriculum can be enriched by using photographs as the starting point for work, and the visual nature of photographs allows students to interpret meaning in new ways. In this lesson, the whole class analyzes a photograph and brainstorms words to describe the characters' senses and feelings. A "hot-seating" drama session follows where classmates interview each other, acting as characters in the photograph, and further exploring the characters' feelings. Students are introduced to the idea of using similes and then work in pairs to describe a character's experience. They then create a simply structured poem using their ideas and similes.

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Independent Poem Structure: Using this helpful handout, students can write their own ideas about the characters' senses and emotions on the first blank line and use a simile to describe these senses or feelings on the second blank line.

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Nelson, C.S. (1994). Historical literacy: A journey of discovery. The Reading Teacher, 47, 552556.

  • Historical literacy, or the ability to understand and interpret the stories of the past, can be developed during language sessions through the use of a vibrant range of language resources, including picture books.

  • Ensuring that reading and writing are taught in a rich context helps students to appreciate how their language skills can be used as tools for learning about the world.

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