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Metaphor games are fun activities that help teach identification and usage of metaphors, which are implicit comparisons not using the words "like" or "as." Teachers often use metaphor games in the classroom to help their students practice using figurative language. Parents also can play some of these games at home with their children to enhance language skills at an early age. There are many different types of metaphor games that educators can draw on, including literature games, visual games and drama games.
Teachers sometimes find it effective to have their students generate their own metaphors as part of learning games. Teachers can compile lists of words appropriate to the age level of their students. An example of this type of word game would be to give students a word such as "fast." Students would then need to think of two different nouns that both share this quality and produce a metaphor, such as, "The girl was a cheetah when she ran" or "The days were airplanes moving forward."
Other types of metaphor games involve visualizing and drawing metaphors. In one of these games, a teacher could read a metaphor out loud and ask students to draw a picture of it. The advantage to these types of metaphor games is that it forces students to think visually about figures of speech, which is where metaphors draw their strength.
Along the same lines as visual metaphor games, some educators get their students to act out metaphors using improvisation. In this type of game, a teacher might get a student volunteer to come to the front of the room and have other students call out suggestions of objects or animals. The student at the front of the room would have to think of another object or animal that shares some characteristics with the first object and represent it through drama. The student who guesses the object or animal correctly would become the next volunteer at the front of the room.
Metaphor games also can involve literature, because metaphors are common features of literary writing and novels. For these types of metaphor games, teachers might ask students to identify all metaphors that they come across through their reading during a set period of time, such as a day or a week. Students might write each metaphor down as they find it and affix it to a designated area of the classroom wall. The student with the most metaphors at the end of the game would be declared the winner.