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The boy had 'ears like bombs'!


This KS2 English quiz will test you on metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech. In his poem 'Timothy Winters', the poet Charles Causley describes a boy with 'ears like bombs', 'teeth like splinters' and 'eyes as wide as a football pool'. These similes are soon followed by a surprising metaphor: 'his hair is an exclamation mark'. Similes make interesting comparisons, but metaphors can be more effective because a metaphor says that an object or person is actually something else. Can you tell the difference between a simile and a metaphor?

Stories and poems become more interesting and 'alive' when you begin to use metaphors and similes. Next time you write something, try to add one of each.

Challenge yourself with this English quiz.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
Complete this metaphor: The stars were glittering ____ in the sky.
like jewels
like gold
The second and third answers are similes.
Complete this metaphor: In the stadium, the cheering crowd was a ____ of blue.
'A sky of blue' doesn't go with the 'cheering crowd'.
Which of these is NOT a metaphor?
The sky was a blanket of clouds.
The sea was a roaring tiger.
She stood as still as a statue.
The lake was a mirror, perfectly reflecting the shoreline.
'As still as a statue' is a simile.
Complete this metaphor: With its locked doors and tiny window, the dark, cold room was a ____.
If you imagine being in that room, which of the four answers best fits?
Which of these is NOT a metaphor?
A thick blanket of snow lay over the hills.
A fleece of snow had covered the field overnight.
Snow covered the hills like a blanket.
The field was a carpet of daisies.
In the first two answers, snow is 'a thick blanket' or 'a fleece'. In the fourth answer, the field is 'a carpet'.
Which of the following is a metaphor?
The cat slipped through the grass like a stealthy tiger.
The cat was a stealthy tiger, slipping through the long grass.
The cat was as stealthy as a tiger.
The cat slipped through the grass as stealthily as a tiger.
These phrases: 'as ... as' and 'like a...', belong to similes. A metaphor explains that a thing or person IS something else, rather than like something else.
Which of the following is a metaphor?
The ship ploughed through the waves.
Suddenly, the dancer wobbled like a top.
The kitten cried like a baby.
The moon shone as bright as the sun.
The other answers are similes.
Which of the following is a metaphor?
The trees snapped like matchsticks.
He crept as quietly as a mouse.
He crept quietly like a mouse.
The trees were matchsticks, snapping in the fierce winds.
All the other answers have the words 'like' or 'as a' which should have given you a big clue!
Complete this metaphor: The narrow road ____ its way through the mountain pass.
continued on
Each of the answers works in the sentence, but only 'snaked' creates a metaphor - the road 'is' a snake.
Complete this metaphor: She showed no sympathy or feelings for others, her heart was a ____.
night star.
golden locket.
lively spring.
Poets enjoy using metaphors for the heart - a heart can also be a 'closed book' or a 'traitor'!
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Using similes and metaphors

Author:  Sheri Smith

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