Metaphors and analogies are powerful tools for aiding comprehension of unfamiliar concepts. Rick Wormeli, in his wonderful book "Metaphors and Analogies" declares "It;s time to bust metaphors out of solitary confinement in English classes."
Yesterday I asked students to develop metaphors to show their understanding of how paragraphs work together to become an essay. I provided an example:
Paragraph is to Essay as Stair is to Staircase
and then asked them to provide me additional examples. It was slow going at first, but then the idea seemed to catch on and students were rapidly sharing their thoughts. A few of my favorites were
Paragraph is to Essay as 1 is to 1-10
Paragraph is to Essay as Book is to Series
Paragraph is to Essay as Egg is to Egg Carton
Paragraph is to Essay as House is to Neighborhood
Paragraph is to Essay as Finger is to Hand
The great news is that working analogies into your teaching is easy. Consider two related ideas from your content, write them on the board in analogy format, and then ask students to get creative!