Figurative Language and Analogies in the Classroom (What do you use?)

I would like to hear some metaphors/analogies/similies that you all use! You can either submit them as an article or post them as comments.

I recently began reading Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff, in which he explains how vital metaphors are to our communication. As I labored, metaphorically speaking, through the book, I found myself reflecting on figurative language I use while teaching writing. I thought about how I cannot help but to use figurative language for difficult aspects of writing like transitions. Just because a student adds in transition words doesn’t mean they have learned the skill of using them. Writing is sculpting, welding, dovetailing, gluing, binding, nailing, riveting, tying words and thoughts together, but how do we convey the artistry of writing to students? How do we get the importance of writing instead of just being grammatical?

I have a colleague who uses metaphors in grammar. Another one uses them in teaching Math. Therefore, I conclude that all content areas use them. I would like to hear some metaphors/analogies/similes that you all use!

Here is just an explanation I tell my students as to why perfect introductions are important:

If you make the mistakes mentioned above, you will leave an unsettling feeling in the mind of the reader. It is kind of like noticing a booger in the nose of someone you meet for the first time. You may think the he or she is the most attractive person in the world. You may think that his/her personality is stellar. However, that one booger will leave a taint on your impression of that individual. Even worse, each time you encounter that person, you will be looking for it. That is because each time you will think of that first impression.
This also happens as people, namely teachers, assess papers. If you have a grammatical mistake hanging in the nostrils of your introduction, the teacher will be more focused on pointing out your flaws than they would if they were excited about your phenomenal introduction. Therefore, it is important that you carefully construct this paragraph so that your reader is able to continue on with a gleeful smile or even tears of joy.

Anyway, I really want to hear from all of the master teachers out there.


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