Descriptive Writing: Using Adjectives, Similes, and Metaphors

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12307

A simile is like a metaphor but not as descriptive as an adjective. What is a metaphor? Not a field to feed cows but a way to cleverly compare people or things. These descriptive words are like light!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

Do you know what a simile is? It's not quite a smile, although the "two peas in a pod" above are smiling like a dog with a new bone!

Have you ever heard the expression, “They are like two peas in a pod?”

Have you ever wondered what that meant? It simply means that the two people who were being referred to as "two peas in a pod" are very close friends. This is another way to write descriptively.

If you missed or would like to review the previous lesson in our Descriptive Writing series, find it in the right-hand sidebar under Related Lessons.

When you are writing a descriptive paragraph or essay, you can use similes and metaphors to compare two or more people or things.

A simile is a comparison of two unlike people or things using the words "like" and "as." So, in the statement, “They are like two peas in a pod,” the word "like" is used to compare how close the friendship is.

A metaphor compares two nouns or pronouns without using the words "like" and "as." “His voice was music to my ears.” This sentence compares "his voice" to "music."

Take out a piece of paper and pencil as you watch this video on similes and metaphors, "Similes and Metaphors" by the Bazillions. Pay close attention to the differences between the two, and write down examples of each on your paper:

Image - Video


We also use adjectives to describe nouns or pronouns. Adjectives tell us:

  • what kind.
  • how much.
  • how many.
  • which one.

In the sentence, “The green hat was enormous!” the word green tells what kind of hat it is.

An example of how much would be, “We walked down the narrow path.” The word "narrow" tells how wide the path is.

An example of which one would be, "This cup is my favorite." The word "This" is selecting a particular cup.

Can you think of an example for how many? Tell your teacher or parent your example.

One example is, "There are seven eggs in the nest."

Using descriptive words in your writing helps your reader to picture people, places, and thoughts.

Continue to the Got It? section to practice finding adjectives, similes, and metaphors.

Image - Button Next