Kids love to tell stories. They either share their experiences to their friends, or create tall tales out of their imagination. It always pays to listen to kids’ stories because you see new perspectives that you never knew existed. And yes, to see life through the eyes of a child is totally refreshing for any adult.
As a parent, it is always important that you help your child improve their creative prowess. If they happen to be natural storytellers, then a good way to assist them in bringing their ideas to life is by teaching them to use figures of speech, such as similes and metaphors.
Similes and metaphors are often used to compare things based on similarity or relativity. They are often applied in English composition writing exercises as a means to describe certain situations without having to use adjectives.
While used almost in the same manner, similes and metaphors have their distinct differences. These are:
- Similes offer direct comparison of one subject with another.
Similes offer a simple comparative description and makes use of the words “like” or “as (adjective) as.” They tend to be easier to use because they give audiences an immediate visual representation of the subject being described in the story. Among the examples to look at are:
- Life is like a box of chocolates; you’ll never know what you will get.
- Anna’s puppy is as cute as a button!
Because of their direct approach to comparing things that carry certain similarities, similes are often used in simpler descriptions and statements. They are also commonly used in dialogues for scripts or stories where characters talk to each other.
- Metaphors are more abstract.
On the other hand, metaphors are used often to describe something more abstract or inanimate. This approach can be used in more advanced English composition writing exercises, as they require more understanding of things that can be compared without using “like” or “as (adjective) as.”
Some examples of metaphors are:
- Morning is a new sheet of paper to write on.
- My life is an open book.
The first example tells how mornings are like. In the morning you start your day anew, just like when you start writing something on a new sheet of paper. Meanwhile, if you say your life “is an open book,” it’s like saying that everybody knows your story and that you are not hiding anything.
How kids can use similes and metaphors
When improving their English composition writing abilities, you may want to begin by introducing your child to similes, as they are easier to relate to. Since they offer a lighter approach to describing statements, children are more inclined to use them in their respective essays and stories.
At the same time however, you may want to get your child acquainted to making use of indirect comparisons, such as that of metaphors. This transition needs more training, as you have to make them realize that describing an object does not always require the use of “like” or “as,” and rather they should link two distinct terms that carry the same thought in one statement.
It also helps to get them to read more stories and essays while practising their writing skills, as along the way they learn more on how similes and metaphors differ from each other, and how these are used correctly to form complete and substantial thought.