In this session children will create similes to describe fireworks and then have the opportunity to put a few similes together to make a poem. This activity makes understanding and writing similes simple and provides a very straightforward way to put together a poem. More confident or enthusiastic learners can of course be more adventurous and be challenged more with their firework poem. Children can also just write a simile or two and leave out the poem part.
Similes can add a lot to a description by making it easier to visualise and more interesting to read. Similes paint a picture in someone’s mind and are great for using in poems to express how you see things in an interesting way. This activity will help children write similes for fireworks and give them ideas for how to put them together into a poem.
Option: As a warm up, the firework calligrams activity will help children think in pictures and comparisons which will help them write similes.
What you need
- Access to guide and examples below
- (Optional) images or video of fireworks
- Pen and paper for writing similes and poem
- (Optional) Art materials for turning similes into artwork
What to do
- Step 1: Introduce similes and look at examples
- Step 2: Write firework similes
- Step 3: Turn similes into poem
- Step 4 (Optional): Art inspired by similes
Step 1: Introduce similes and look at examples
What are similes?
Similes are descriptions that compare the thing you are describing to something else. They describe something as being like or similar to something else. For example, the box was as light as a feather.
To write similes about fireworks think about:
- What does a firework remind you of?
- What is it like or similar to?
- What sounds do the fireworks make and what do they remind you of?
- What do they look like? Is this similar to anything?
It might help you to look up some images of fireworks online. Look carefully at the shape, colour, light patterns etc. What do these different elements remind you of? What could you say they are similar to? Look at some videos of displays and/or think back and remember displays you have seen.
Think carefully about the sounds the different fireworks make. What could you compare them to? You could describe individual fireworks or the display as a whole.
You don’t have to just stick with what they look and sound like – how does it feel to watch them? Could you compare your reaction or experience to something else? For example, the feeling of thrill and excitement could be described as similar to going on a rollercoaster. The barrage of noise and brightness might remind you of how it feels to being in a small room bombarded with loud music.
A rocket firework like a snake flying out of a jack-in-the-box.
Colours as bright as a rainbow.
Sparklers like tiny fireflies darting out in all directions.
A Catherine wheel like a saw of fire cutting through the sky.
Step 2: Firework simile poem
Children can now use their similes to make a poem. If they’ve done the onomatopoeic poetry activity, they could include some of those words too and make a poem using both similes and onomatopoeic words.
Remember, the poem does not need to rhyme. Children should focus on creating powerful and effective descriptions to make the reader of the poem feel like they are really at a firework display.
Example poem using similes
Children and adults waited excitedly,
Watching the night sky
– a dark blank canvas, ready for colours to explode on it like splattered paint
A small spark,
Then the high-pitched scream of a rocket;
Bright lights, like a giant golden dandelion, burst over the sky with a
Catherine wheels whizzed like chainsaws of fire,
Throwing light in all directions.
Sparklers, like tiny clouds of fireflies, flew from the children’s hands.
After the fireworks,
Colourful clouds of smoke drifted away across the sky.
- Children could write their poem out neatly on a colourful piece of paper or picture and give it as a gift to someone or have it on your wall over a celebration period that involves fireworks.
- Alternatively they could type it up and add illustrations. Print a few copies and send them as cards to people.
- Another idea is for children to choose some of their favourite similes and turn them into a piece of art. For example, with the poem above I could draw a child holding a sparkler with fireflies flying all around or I could paint huge chainsaws made of fire.