Using Analogies

Analogies are an excellent way to teach and encourage creative and critical thinking in kids. I've provided a list of ways that you can incorporate analogies into daily conversation with your kids or homeschooling students.
Analogies are an excellent way to teach and encourage creative and critical thinking in kids. I've provided a list of ways that you can incorporate analogies into daily conversation with your kids or homeschooling students.

 

 

keyboard : computer : : pen : ____________

Thanksgiving Analogies

Analogies like the ones above require you to analyze a pair of pictures or words to find a connection (or sometimes more than one connection) and apply that connection to a new pair. Doing analogies is a good idea because:

 

  • Analogies are a great way to improve analytical thinking, verbal comprehension, and spatial skills.
  • Analogies often show up on IQ and placement tests.
  • Analogies can help you to make a point. For example, in his recent health care speech, President Obama said that the public option was not threatening to private health insurance companies in the same way that public universities do not threaten private colleges and universities.
  • In the classroom analogies can be used to enhance what you are already teaching in social studies, science, or literature.
  • Analogies are fun!

If you want to learn more about analogies, then you can go here for a basic explanation or here for an in-depth Wikipedia article.

Using Analogies with Kids

So, you ask, “How can I make analogies a part of my child’s life?” Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make them up as a game – in the car, in the waiting room, over breakfast. For example: Cheerios are to box as milk is to ___________. Or for little kids phrase as: Your plate is like a circle in the same way that your napkin is like a ______________. Encourage your kids to make up their own analogies for you and for each other.
  • Have your kids create some spatial analogies on paper, if your kids love to draw, or on the computer, if they love using Paint or images on an office application.
  • Better yet, especially for those kinesthetic learners, draw them in chalk on the sidewalk or shaving cream on a table.
  • For teachers or homeschoolers, integrate analogies into whatever you are studying. Put a couple at the end of a worksheet just for fun, or put some on the board as a morning warm up activity. For example, if you are doing a unit on food chains, then you could use: huckleberries : producer : : rabbit : _________ or bear : cub : : deer : ____________.
  • Have your students make up analogies for each other. Have an Analogy Challenge by requiring your students to use a specific word in analogies that they create. Or have each student contribute one analogy to a worksheet that you use for the whole class.
  • Use analogy worksheets. Here are the ones I have developed.
  • Get a workbook of analogies. Thinking Through Analogies is a challenging one.
  • Do them online. Here are some fun ones to try:

Got more ideas on how to get analogies into kids’ lives? Please let me know!

Rachel Lynette Teachers Pay Teachers

1 thought on “Using Analogies”

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