Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

SHIPping Words

Analogy RelationSHIP

Allison Mitchell-Hill, Patricia Turner, Janis Slater | Published: May 23rd, 2022 by Oklahoma Young Scholars/Javits

  • Grade Level Grade Level 4th, 5th
  • Subject Subject English/Language Arts
  • Course Course
  • Time Frame Time Frame 60 minutes
  • Duration More 2 periods


In this lesson, students will be introduced to analogies by exploring how given words are related to one another. Students will work as a class to create a definition of an analogy, finish given analogies, create new analogies, and be able to explain why an analogy may not make sense. Finally, students will work independently to define and write their own analogies.

Essential Question(s)

What is an analogy? How do words and ideas go together? What is an example of an analogy?



Students analyze an analogy with images.


Students complete a gallery walk of analogies posted around the classroom.


Students work together to define analogy and complete an anchor chart for reference.


Students write their own, new analogies.


Students complete a Frayer Model with key information about analogies.


  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • Sample Anchor Chart (attached)

  • Gallery Walk Analogies (attached; one set per class)

  • Frayer Model (attached; one per student)

  • Paper and pencil for each student

  • Paper (one sheet per group of two)

  • Board (SMART board, whiteboard, chalkboard, etc.) or large paper for teacher to write on

  • Writing tools for teacher

  • Chart paper and markers


10 Minute(s)

Begin the lesson by displaying the title slide on slide 2 of the attached Lesson Slides.

Transition through slides 3-4 and share the essential questions and learning objectives to the extent you feel necessary.

Move to slide 5 and show the analogy and image. Read the analogy: "Cow is to mammal as snake is to reptile."

Ask students to share their initial thoughts about the statement and allow time to have a class discussion about what it means. At this point in the lesson it is not necessary for students to know what an analogy is, nor should you define it for them. This will come a little bit later on.


25 Minute(s)

Display slide 6 and explain the Gallery Walk strategy to students. Share with them that there are multiple types of analogies hung around the room and they are to read each analogy with a partner. Use the 10-minute timer embedded in the slide. If you feel students will need additional time, you can find longer timers on the K20 Center YouTube Channel. While students are viewing the analogies, encourage them to create an image in their brain and then discuss what they think the analogy means.

Once students have completed their Gallery Walk, have them return to their seats and move to slide 7. Have them discuss the included questions with their Elbow Partner.

  • Which analogy was your favorite?

  • Why did you like that analogy?

  • What kind of image did this analogy bring to your mind?

Transition through slides 8-26. These offer you analogies paired with visuals to discuss as a class, if you feel additional discussion is necessary.

Display slide 27 and ask students what the analogies had in common. During this time, students will start to formulate a definition of an analogy. Use guiding questions as needed.


20 Minute(s)

Move to slide 28 and have students take notes while you create the Anchor Chart together. For help filling out the chart, use the attached Sample Anchor Chart.

Come up with a definition of analogy using the previous class discussion, making sure it is aligned with the academic definition. At the top of the Anchor Chart, write this definition that the class has agreed upon.

Below the definition, write an example analogy such as, "Penguin is to Bird as Golden Retriever is to Dog," or "Penguin:Bird::Golden Retriever:Dog." If you use the colon method, make sure to explain to students that one colon stands for the words "is to" and two colons stand for "as."

After writing the example analogy, ask students to explain the relationship between the words in the first half of the analogy. For example, a penguin is a type of bird. Then, have them apply that relationship to the second half of the analogy (a golden retriever is a type of dog).

Now that students are familiar with the format, repeat this process with other examples until the chart is full. Include an example of each type of word relationship: synonyms, antonyms, characteristic, part/whole, type, tool/worker, action/object, source, cause/effect, and item/purpose.

Present students with at least one incorrect analogy and allow them to to discuss it. For example, "Classroom is to school as hot is to cold." Ask them if they think the analogy makes sense and to explain their answer. Then, ask them what could be changed about the analogy to make it make sense.


30 Minute(s)

Once students have a sufficient understanding of analogies, display slide 29 and tell them it's their turn! Using the 5-minute timer embedded in the slide, have students work in small groups or partners to create as many of their own analogies as they can.

At the end of the five minutes, stop and allow them to share their analogies. Ask them what the relationship is between the first two words and if it applies to the second two words. If you find that an analogy is incorrect, give them time to fix it or have them ask for help from their peers.

Repeat the process with additional rounds of creating analogies. Each group will create an analogy chart using their best analogies to post around the room. Illustrations are encouraged.


20 Minute(s)

Display slide 30, pass out the attached Frayer Model handout, and explain the Frayer Model strategy.

Have students fill out their Frayer Model, answering the corresponding questions in each box.

Opportunities for Advanced Students

60 Minute(s)

Have students read the book My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks and Other Funny Family Portraits by Hanoch Piven. In this book, a young girl is asked to draw a picture of her family, but her ink sketches fail to make her family come to life so she decides to write analogies and use objects to show and tell who they are.

After reading the book students will describe their families through writing analogies and using objects as catalysts. You could also give students the choice to write their analogies about characters from stories, historical figures, artists, or other people they know.

Besides using the objects to help them write, encourage students to use their five senses. Example based on taste: What flavor best represents this person's sense of humor? Are they as funny as a salty milkshake or a cherry limeade?

Students could also produce a digital production using their analogies. This can be a group or individual project where each student creates slides showing their objects, the analogy based on the objects, and an explanation of the relationship between the objects and the analogy.


Analogy clipart: with Corel Draw clipart [Clip art]. Clipart Panda.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Anchor Charts. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Elbow Partners. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Frayer Model. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Gallery Walk. Strategies.

Piven, H. (2007). My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits. Dragonfly Books.