Looking for a quick and thoughtful way to check for understanding? Try student-generated metaphors. Students can summarize content learned. They can also share how well they understand and value new information.
Student-generated metaphors reveal clarity and confusion.
Student-generated metaphors engage students in rigorous thinking.
Student-generated metaphors invite students to attach relevance to new content.
Students who create their own metaphors about vocabulary, facts, and learning episodes are stretching their thinking beyond the specific content itself. These metaphors tell us to what degree students understand content. For example, suppose a student writes, “Today’s lesson was like a paint brush filled gray paint. We covered a lot of material that is still cloudy to me.” This tells the teacher that the student feels overwhelmed and possibly confused. Checking for understanding with a metaphor promotes student voice more than a traditional thumbs-up.
Download these charts as a starting point. Consider creating different charts with your students. When you make metaphorical thinking a habit in your classroom, you are enhancing rigor, relevance, and learner engagement.