School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 5. Identify and explain the author's use of language

Objective a. Identify words and phrases with a specific effect on meaning (similes, metaphors)


Show an enlarged copy of a flyer advertising an event. After previewing the text features unique to this form of writing, introduce the idea that authors deliberately choose words specific to their purpose and for emphasis and clarity when they plan and write text. In the flyer, identify words that the author used to entice readers to the event.

Come to an Authors' Celebration!

Have a great time!

Share your writing! Meet other authors!

When: Saturday at noon
Where: At our school

Fun for the whole family!

Prizes! Refreshments! Entertainment!

Explain to the students that a flyer is written to inform people about an upcoming event and to persuade them to come. Highlight the words that tell about the event (Authors' Celebration, When…, Where…, whole family). Highlight in a different color the words that the author uses to entice people to come (Celebration, great time, fun, prizes, refreshments, entertainment). Talk about the choice of words and ask student pairs to come up with more specific language. Place other examples of advertisements in a learning center. Have students use wiki sticks or highlighting tape to highlight the powerful words.


Read aloud the text Quick as A Cricket by Audrey Wood. Introduce the term simile to the group. Explain that a simile is when a specific attribute of a person, thing or action is compared to another. Often writers connect the ideas with the words "like" or "as". In the text that we read, the author used similes to help us get a clear picture of the child by comparing specific attributes of the child to animals that demonstrate that same attribute. For example, ask the children how a cricket might move. If a child was described as "quick as a cricket" then the child might suddenly leap from place to place. But at times this child is as "slow as a snail". Have children dramatize how slow the child might move. Discuss how a child can be both quick and slow. Chart the other comparisons using the similes in the text. And again discuss how a child can be both.

Attribute Animal
Quick Cricket
Slow Snail
Small Ant
Large Whale
Tame Poodle
Wild Chimp

Direct students to locate similes in the text Shapes in the Sky; A Book About Clouds by Josepha Sherman. In Quick as a Cricket the similes form the pattern of the entire text. In Shapes in the Sky, A Book About Clouds the similes are embedded in factual text and therefore their determination must depend on locating the transition words "as" and "like".