‘Snoring Like a Walrus’
Thinking about the images created by figurative language.
Lesson length: 1 session
Lesson from Grandma Bird series
Required reading: Whole book
- Language features: Idiom
- Vocabulary: Blended Approach
Some of the language in Grandma Bird is likely to be unfamiliar and a potential barrier to comprehension. Although the visual context will support understanding, focusing on idiomatic phrases and figurative language will extend children’s linguistic repertoires. Idiomatic expressions may be especially challenging for additional language learners, so take time to explain the meaning. Use drama and visual approaches to develop understanding.
- Copies of the book or an enlarged image of Noi and Grandma in bed.
- Whiteboards and marker pens for writing sentences.
Read the first sentence, ‘At night they had to sleep top to tail.’
- What does ‘top to tail’ mean?
- Can the children use the picture clues to work it out?
- Give a clear child-friendly explanation, using gestures to show your ‘top’ and your ‘tail’ (in this case feet). Top to tail is another way of saying top to bottom.
- Has anyone in the class ever slept like this? Perhaps at a party or sleepover?
Now read the second sentence focusing on ‘snored like an old walrus’.
- What is a walrus? Show a picture.
- So how do you think Grandma was snoring? Was it quiet or loud?
- Introduce the term ‘simile‘ if appropriate. Highlight the words ‘like a’, which indicates that this is a simile.
- Can you use similes to describe how Noi would snore?
- How would Grandma laugh? How would Noi laugh?
In pairs or individually, ask the children to write their own sentences to describe Noi’s snores or Grandma’s laugh using a simile.