“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
Using images or a selection of objects, encourage learners to create metaphors by brainstorming and seeing things in different ways.
What is this?
Snow on grass?
A bed of nails?
Frosty stick men dancing?
Microscopic hairs on a snowman's arm?
And, what is this?
A sunflower in a field?
A tall man in a crowd?
An excited fan sitting on someone's shoulders in the audience at a music festival?
- Work on some examples. Ask learners to select the relevant plain speech description of an image from a mixed selection - including some red herrings - written in the target language:
- Next, give learners a choice of possible metaphors for the image written in the target language. Ask them to decode the metaphors. Discuss the associations that are made and the effectiveness of these:
- To which characteristics does it relate?
- Does it remind you of anything?
- Is it obvious or obscure?
- How does it taste, look, smell, sound, feel?
- Which do you prefer and why?
When creating metaphors in the target language:
- Free-associate: Ask learners to note all the things that they associate with the image or object including things with similar qualities.
- Think outside of the box: the less obvious the association, the more interesting the metaphor!
- This activity could lead on to writing "Ezra Pound Couplets" in the target language where the plain speech statement is followed by a metaphor.
- See how this activity features in a lesson plan about perceptions (also available in French and Spanish).