The boy had 'ears like bombs'!


Get ready for a fun KS2 English quiz all about metaphors! Metaphors are like special sayings in stories. In a poem, Charles Causley describes a boy with 'ears like bombs' and 'teeth like splinters'. Then, a surprise - 'his hair is an exclamation mark'! Similes compare things, but metaphors say something is actually something else. Can you spot the difference between a simile and a metaphor?

Make your stories and poems super interesting by using metaphors and similes. When you write next time, try adding one of each!

Take the challenge with this cool English quiz!

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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'!
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.
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'.
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 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 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: 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?
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: The stars were glittering ____ in the sky.
like jewels
like gold
The second and third answers are similes.
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.
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - What are metaphors and similes?

Author:  Sheri Smith

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