Similes (KS2) Explained For Parents

School kids sat at their desks in a classroom learning.

Image © courtneyk via iStock.

This handy guide to similes KS1 and KS2 is as helpful as a doctor, as simple as a circle and as informative as the dictionary! See what we did there…

Smilies, as well as metaphors, alliteration, rule of three and plenty others, are key writing devices that children can use in their creative writing and schoolwork to really boost their education. However, initially, they can be a little tricky to get the hang of, plus difficult to explain to your children when you might not have touched a grammar book or resource in years!

Not to worry, this resource will run you through what a basic simile consists of, the aim of using a simile, how to form a simile, plus, explain the key differences between similes and metaphors. These concepts can be particularly confusing for beginners, no matter what year or stage of education, but you'll be teaching your children in no time! Plus, there's plenty of other top educational resources available on Kidadl that will make teaching your kids basic literary knowledge super easy. For example, check out our handy guide to adverbs, or if you're feeling a little more adventurous, take a look at our resource on noun phrases!

What Is A Simile?

First and foremost a simile is a literary device used in writing to describe something by comparing or likening it to something else.

Even if you think you don’t know what a simile is or can’t get to grips with the grammatical, technical explanation of one, chances are you’ve definitely come across them before! Similes are used all the time, in your favourite nursery rhymes, TV programs and in the media. They are a really effective way of gripping someone’s attention.

Similes are typically formed by using two key words: either ‘as’ or ‘like’, that way you can compare something to something else smoothly, whilst being creative and evoking a real picture in the reader’s mind.

Mum helping her daughter study on her laptop.
Image © August De Richelieu via Pexels.

What Is The Aim Of A Simile?

Whether your children are in Year 1 or Year 2, the aim of using a simile always remains the same - to catch the reader's attention and to make your work more creative and descriptive.

Additionally, the use of similes helps readers to relate and engage with the writing to a far greater extent than if you were simply stating things throughout the writing. It makes it much easier to therefore gauge a deeper understanding and gain further insight as to how the writer really feels or what message/themes are being conveyed.

Similes also add a little rhythm to the writing, almost pushing a simple piece of written work to feel like a poem or a lyrical piece of text and can, therefore, be super effective and fun to get creative with!

Little girl lying on the floor writing in her workbook.

How Do You Form A Simile (KS2)?

Perhaps the most important part of learning and teaching similes is knowing exactly how to form them! The good news is, it’s super simple…

One thing that is crucial to remember when forming similes is that you are comparing something to something else in order to create a kind of descriptive vividness that brings what you’re writing to life.

‘As’: using the word ‘as’ in this structure ‘as something as something else’ is one of the most common ways to effectively form a simile. For example, ‘as cool as a cucumber’, ‘as pink as a flamingo’, ‘as scary as spiders’.

‘Like’: using the word ‘like’ in this structure ‘something like something else’ is another way to form a simile. For example ‘fight like cats and dogs’, ‘shine like the stars’, ‘sleep like a log’.

Similes Vs Metaphors

Commonly mixed up, metaphors and similes set out to achieve a similar effect for the reader but are in fact very different in nature.

Whilst similes aim to compare something to something else, metaphors describe something as though it were actually something else. For example, you could use a simile to say ‘the classroom was as noisy as a zoo’ or you could use a metaphor to say ‘the classroom was a zoo’, describing it as though it was a zoo to demonstrate how noisy it was.



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