Tag Archives: similes

similes are EYE catching … give it a go

Similes are way to give your poem extra zing.

Similes can be EYE catching.

I always hunt for a few when I need one … then I test them out and choose my favourite.

Sometimes a poem gets an extra spark with just one EXTRA good simile.

Sometimes you can use a truck load of similes.


H e r e    i s     a    c h a  l  l e n g e:

Pick an animal.

Write down all the important parts of the animal (colour, kind of skin, ears, pattern, trunk, special things like tusks and so on).

Find similes for some of them.

Write a short poem about that animal using just one EXTRA good simile.

Write another poem using as many similes as you like but only use your favourite ones.

LISTEN to your poem.

Get a friend or someone in your family to tell you which simile catches their EYE!


You can enter this in the Eye-Poem Challenge.

DEADLINE for your Eye-Poem Challenge: Thursday March 27th

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the eye-poem challenge.

I will post my favourites and have a book prize for one poet.

Laura Ranger’s similes pop and sparkle

When Laura Ranger was a child she wrote poems (she is now an adult!). She wrote really good poems that lots of people loved. She had her poetry published in magazines, she won prizes and Bill Manhire picked one of her poems to go in his book 100 New Zealand Poems. Then, most exciting of all, Godwit (Random House) published a little book of her poems in 1995 (Laura’s Poems).

Unknown  Unknown   Unknown  Unknown  Unknown   Unknown   Unknown

What I love about Laura’s poems is that they are about ordinary things in her world and that she also uses her imagination. These are some of her titles: ‘Mum’ ‘My Dad’ ‘My House’ ‘My Dog’ ‘It Gets Dark’ ‘Winter’ ‘My Zoo.’ Laura usually only puts a few words on a line, sometimes she uses a little rhyme and she always adds great detail. Sometimes her poems are like tiny stories; you can tell she has used her eyes and ears. What often makes her poems pop and sparkle for me are the similes she uses.

I don’t have permission to post a poem, but here are some of Laura’s similes:

‘My skin is as smooth/ as a piece of driftwood/ on Otakei beach’   from Sands

‘The moon is a silver hubcap/ in the sky.’    from God

‘The hills curve and rise/ like loaves of bread’   from The Sea

Laura’s book is out-of-print now sadly but you can find it in libraries.

See if you can find a copy and tell me about your favourite poem in the book.

Use it as a starting point to write one of your own. Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You may include your teacher’s name and email if you like. Say it is Laura’s challenge.

alien seaweed challenge

When Molly, Nonu and I were on the beach this morning I spotted something odd —  I had no idea what it was. I started hunting for similes as we walked along the beach. This what I came up with in my head. It is not a polished poem … just a first draft!

Take a look at the photo and see if you can come up with some good similes and a seaweed poem. Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email address if you like.

Beach Walk

This morning I saw something strange.

It looked like a little alien sleeping in the sand

or a strange octopus that had crawled

from the deep sea,

or an exotic flower blown

in from China,

or a slithery snake with three tails.

Molly and Nonu sniffed

and licked, tails wagging

at the alien seaweed.


Poetry Play with rain, wind and hail (or snow!)

This morning Michael and I were the only ones on the beach and the West Coast was at its fiercest (check out the photos below).  I tested out some similes when I was sopping wet and icy cold.

Practising for our Holiday in the South Island

The hail was pecking at my face like sharp hen’s teeth.

The wind was whipping the black sand like it was burning black ash.

The wind was scooping the seam foam into dancing puffs.

My face was sore, my wet trousers stuck to my wet legs like wet flannels,

but I felt like doing a foxtrot with the waltzing wind!

Give it a go! Send me your weather similes or a poem to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email if you like.

IMG_3273 IMG_3268

Poetry Play with dogs, cats and dragons

Today we will play with similes.

Trying thinking of similes for these six words and then play with the order of them and turn them into a poem.  You have three choices of poems:

dog    barking   ball  sky   rain  bone

cat     mat   milk   hungry  fur   fish

dragon   red   gold  cave   flame  soft

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email and name if you like.  I will post my favourites.

Simlies are like popcorn in a poem

Similes are fun. They can give a poem that magic ingredient that puts a smile on the reader’s face.

A simile is when you compare something in your poem to something else in the world. Sometimes you use ‘like’ or ‘as’ to help you.

The rain is like a leak in the sky.  The ground is as wet as my watery soup.

One tip is to go on the hunt for similes. Use a little test pot of similes and then pick your favourite. We all might say the sun is like a golden ball so it is fun to go hunting for fresh ones.

You can use simple words to write a good simile.

Listen to the rhythm of your simile. Does it flow well?

You can use one simile in a poem to give it a little sparkle or you can write a poem full of them. You need to play and explore to find what works for you.

Next week I am going to tell you about a poet who writes AMAZING similes. You will love them!

This week on Poetry Box it’s time for lunch and tasty treats

People are already talking about the food in my new book of poems (The Baker’s Thumbprint). I got asked about it when I did my radio interview with Lynn Freeman and the one for the Nelson Mail. And I always say I love food (I love to eat it and I love to cook it!) as much as I love writing (I love to read as much as I love to write!).


So I have decided this week it will be food week (and maybe the next few!), but I am going to add something extra and that is the wonderful world of similes. We are also going to play with these. On Monday I will set you a food-poem challenge with a simile twist, on Tuesday I will give you some starting points, on Wednesday I will give you some poetry tips on similes, on Thursday it is time for poetry play, and on Friday I will share a food poem.

The tasty food-poem challenge: I challenge you to write a poem with food in it AND at least one simile. Tomorrow I will give you lots of starting points for food poems but my tip is to go on the hunt for words that will make my mouth water. Your poem might be from your imagination or it might be from a real experience. I am hoping some younger children will give this a go! You can be from Year 0 to Year 8!  Your poem can be really short or long (but no more than 20 lines).

Send to paulajoygreen@gmailcom. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s email and name if you like. You have until Thursday July 4th 6pm.

The first winning poem (older) will get one of my precious copies of Macaroni Moon (I have only got a few left and it is out-of-print!) plus a a tasty cake of chocolate (ooh I hope it doesn’t melt in the post!).

Macaroni Moon  Macaroni Moon   Macaroni Moon  Macaroni Moon  Macaroni Moon

206269_157618850966435_3358613_n   206269_157618850966435_3358613_n   206269_157618850966435_3358613_n

The second winning poem (younger) will get a copy of the glorious Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis thanks to the lovely Scholastic (and a cake of tasty chocolate). This picture book is all about food. Everybody wants to taste Marmaduke Duck’s marmalade jam and things go a bit wrong before they go a lot right!

Juliette has used lots of lively words to give her story zing and zip:

‘He peeled it, zested it, sugared it, boiled,

stirred it, tested it, tasted it, toiled.

And if I have some extra favourite poems I might have to get some extra cakes of chocolate to post you!