Students watch a video that shows Cuban land crabs migrating from their home in the forest to as far as six miles to the sea coast to lay their eggs. They create an original poem using similes and metaphors to describe the crabs' journey.
Why is this an important concept?
Learners who can identify similes and metaphors in creative texts can also analyze the figurative meanings that can be hidden in these comparisons. A learner who comprehends similes and metaphors also has the ability to understand the symbolism and mood that these can convey. Learners can also utilize these types of figurative language in their own works in order to create imagery.
(1) 45-minute period and (1) 20-minute period
- The Cuban Crab Migration QuickTime Video
Part I: Learning Activity
1. Provide the purpose for this activity: to write an original poem that uses similes and metaphors to describe the migration of Cuban land crabs from the forest to the coast.
2. Begin by asking the students to define simile and metaphor. Next, ask students to provide examples of each. Stress the idea that similes and metaphors are two types of figurative language that create imagery through comparisons.
3. Tell the students that they will be watching a video about Cuban crabs that are migrating to the ocean. As they watch the video, have them think of things that can be compared to the crabs and their journey. What can be compared to the way the crabs seem to travel together in a pack? What can be compared to the landscape, the temperature or the way the crabs seem to “dance” when they reach the ocean and lay their eggs?
4. After watching the video segment the first time, discuss these comparisons during a guided question and answer session. Ask them to phrase their comparisons as they would similes and metaphors. For instance, “The determined group of crabs moves together like runners striving to complete a marathon." Focus on the video details students use to support and explain their similes and metaphors.
5. Tell them that they're going to watch the video segment a second time. This time, while they watch they will complete a graphic organizer to help them arrange their comparisons and turn them into similes and metaphors. Distribute the The Cuban Crab Migration Graphic Organizer .
6. After watching the video, give students some time to complete the graphic organizer. When they've finished, ask students to share their similes and metaphors. During a teacher-guided question and answer session, ask them what shots from the video they used as a basis for their imagery. Help students to elaborate on these by discussing the specific details as a large group.
For students who need additional guidance:
- Meet with students between viewings of the video segment to support their note-taking and writing skills.
- If needed, arrange for students to watch video again.
- Use additional websites to find more details about similes and metaphors and simile/metaphor practice activities.
Part II: Assessment
1. Distribute the The Cuban Crab Migration Poem Rubric . Explain to the class that they will use their graphic organizers to help them write poems to depict the migration. Review the rubric so students will know the expectations of the poetry assignment.
2. Poems may be written in class or as a homework assignment.
3. Students exchange poem drafts with fellow students to peer-edit and discuss needed revisions and/or additions.
4. After making needed revisions, students complete final versions of their poems which they turn in together with their first drafts.