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        The World of Volcanoes: Writing Original Literary Texts | Nature

        After watching a video about volcanoes, students use similes and metaphors to write a poem.

        Lesson Summary


        Students will watch a video that shows scientists collecting lava samples from an active volcano.  They use similes and metaphors to write an original poem about the segment.

        Why is this an important concept?

        Learners that 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 literary devices can convey.  Learners can, in turn, utilize these types of figurative language in their own works in order to create imagery.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        (1) 45-minute period and (1) 20-minute period

        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Provide the purpose for this activity: to write an original poem that uses similes and metaphors to describe scientists and their work on an active volcano.

        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 scientists collecting live lava samples on Mount Kilauea, an active volcano in Hawaii.  As they watch the video, ask them to focus on things about the video segment featuring Mount Kilauea that can be compared to things in their daily life or personal experiences. For example, what places or things can be compared to the landscape, the temperature, the lava flows, the scientists in their protective gear, and the tools they use to take the samples? Encourage students to focus on both the voice-over and language used by the narrators and/or visual images they see.

        4. After watching the video segment the first time, discuss the comparisons they found in a guided question and answer session.  Ask them to word their comparisons as they would similes and metaphors.  For instance, “the black shimmering landscape is like the foreign terrain of the moon.”  Focus on the video details students use to support and explain their similes and metaphors.

        5. Tell them that now they will watch the video segment again.  While watching it the second time, students complete The World of Volcanoes Graphic Organizer handout to help them arrange their comparisons and turn them into similes and metaphors.

        6. After watching, ask students to share the similes and metaphors they created while completing their graphic organizers.  During a teacher-guided question and answer session, ask them what language or shots from the video they used as a basis for their imagery.  Help students elaborate on these by discussing the specific details as a large group.

        7. Distribute the World of Volcanoes Poem rubric.  Tell students to use their graphic organizers to help them write poems that use similes and metaphors to depict the segment about Mount Kilauea.  Students should use similes and metaphors from their graphic organizers as a creative basis for their poems.  Review the rubric so students know the expectations of the poetry assignment.

        8. Using their graphic organizers and the rubric, students write a draft of the poem.  Students may complete the poetry drafts for homework if additional time is needed.

        Part II: Assessment

        Day Two

        1. Students exchange completed poem drafts with fellow students to peer-edit and discuss needed revisions and/or additions.

        2. After making needed revisions, students complete final versions of poems and hand in with the first drafts and rubrics.

        For students who needadditional guidance:

        • Meet with students between viewings of the video segment to support their note-taking and writing skills.
        • Provide opportunities for students to watch the video segment as many times as needed.
        • Use listed websites to find additional details about volcanoes, similes and metaphors and simile/metaphor practice activities.


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