|photo by MR38|
In the fast fifty minutes we had together, we worked on extended metaphors. This is what happened:
1. I had numerous objects scattered around the room on tables. A hair dryer, a dream catcher, a shiny rock, a treasure box, a rusty hammer, an old paintbrush, a shiny new wrench, an empty picture frame, an over-ripe banana, a branch from a tree that was torn down by the tornado, some bubble wrap...(you get the idea)
2. We began by talking about what a metaphor was. While we were in the midst of the discussion, I was (idly? nervously?) shaking up a can of soda.
4. We brainstormed adjectives and vivid verbs and I jotted them down in lightning-fast fashion (or as lightning-fast as my menopausal brain allows).
6. I then created a metaphor on the spot, something like, "I am a shook-up can of soda. When I get excited and bubble over with enthusiasm, things get messy because I get off track; all I think about is what I'm into at that single moment. There are other times, however, when I explode in anger. My rage spews and sprays everywhere...No one is safe when they're around me when I blow up..." (I wrote the metaphor under the "me" heading.)
7. The students had post-its (okay, I did not have a chance to snag some post-its from my school, so I used a small memo pad and just gave each participant a handful of sheets) and they went around and jotted down verbs and adjectives for the objects scattered around the room. (After all, writers are thieves. We "steal" ideas from each other. Also, writing should not be done in a vacuum. We need fellow writers to bounce ideas around.) They left the notations with the objects, so everyone/anyone could refer to them.
8. The students then chose one of the objects to write an extended metaphor. They jotted down the notes that went along with that object, so they could plug them into their metaphor. They could compare the object to themself, they could compare it to a friend/relative or they could use the metaphor to paint a picture of a fictional character.
If you're a teacher, try this activity out. It helps kids connect to metaphors if they have something concrete to work with. And if you have any suggestions to improve it, or have a figurative language activity that you'd like to share, please do. (Teachers like to steal as well!)
|photo by citygirlny10305|