Metaphors require students to make connections at an abstract level. Teachers can introduce this method for identifying similarities by helping students identify a pattern of behavior or steps in a process. Students are then challenged to find a comparison item with a similar pattern or process.
With enough practice, students can eventually create metaphors on their own. How can we support mastery of this learning technique?
A table or chart that encourages students to move from literal characteristics to more abstract properties could be helpful. Adding structure to the process of developing metaphors can provide the scaffolding students need to build confidence in a new strategy. Adding images can be helpful for students with limited language proficiency and/or visual learners.
What other technology tools can be employeed to support the use of metaphors as an instructional tool?
Let's rethink the possibilities.