Similes in Poems for Kids

Writers use similes and other forms of figurative language to create strong mental images for readers. However, before we can expect students to use similes effectively in their own writing, they should read lots of good simile examples in the writing of others.

Similes can certainly be found in prose as well as poetry, but poems are ideal for teaching because they are generally short, yet still provide a real reading context.

Since we’re not far from National Poetry Month in April, I thought it was the perfect time to share some exemplar poems with similes.

Similes can be so cliché…

Similes make a comparison between two unlike things and contain those oh-so-helpful trigger words (like and as) to help kids recognize them.

Kids may also recognize that many of our most commonly used expressions (figures of speech) contain similes. In fact, these expressions are so overused, that they are considered to be clichés. However, because kids do recognize them, they provide a nice instructional starting point.

Commonly used similes (clichés):

Simile examples using as: blue as the sky, hard as a rock, stubborn as a mule, sweet as sugar, and so on…

Simile examples using like: sing like a bird, run like a cheetah, sleep like a baby, swim like a fish, etc.

Similes are a type of figurative language and poetic device that’s used in many poems. Here are just a few examples of poems with similes:

Similes in Poems for Kids

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Taylor

Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky,

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are.

The following poem by Lewis Carroll is a parody (or a spoof of) “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat by Lewis Carroll (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!

Image simile in Alice in Wonderland

I’ve Got a Dog by Anonymous

I’ve got a dog as thin as a rail,

He’s got fleas all over his tail;

Every time his tail goes flop,

The fleas on the bottom all hop to the top.

Image simile poem

The Scorpion by Hilaire Belloc

The scorpion is as black as soot,

He dearly loves to bite;

He is a most unpleasant brute

to find in bed at night.

Image simile poems

October by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

October turned my maple’s leaves to gold;

The most are gone now; here and there one lingers.

Soon these will slip from out the twig’s weak hold,

Like coins between a dying mister’s fingers.

Image simile poem

Rain in Summer by Henry W. Longfellow

How beautiful is the rain!

After the dust and heat.

In the broad and fiery street.

In the narrow lane,

How beautiful is the rain!


How it clatters along the roofs,

Like the tramp of hoofs!

How it gushes and struggles out

From the throat of the overflowing spout!


Across the window pane

It pours and pours;

And swift and wide,

With a muddy tide,

Like a river down the gutter roars

The rain, the welcome rain!


In the country, on every side,

Where far and wide,

Like a leopard’s tawny and spotted hide,

Stretches the plain,

To the dry grass and the drier grain

How welcome is the rain!

Image simile poem


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