Add Sparkle to Your Words
I was a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't completely identify the metaphor discussed my Mr. Spencer is his "Pencil Integration" blog. I believe the main reason that I missed the direct connection he was trying to convey to his readers is simple. I took all possibility that a metaphor was an option out of my brain. I trusted this man to give us his opinion on education blatantly and that is unfortunate. How boring! I appreciate some jazz in writing and I wish that I had been able to see the connection. When I go back and read Mr. Spencer's blog post and insert technology and computers where pencils are written, I thoroughly agree with and enjoy his writing a billion times over. Furthermore, I read a good bit of Mr. Spencer's writing and believed him to be a well-educated, poised, fantastic writer. I gave him such credit that I took what he had written too seriously and forced myself to believe his theory on pencils. I wanted these underpriveledged children to be able to take pencils home too! I began agreeing with everything Mr. Spencer wrote and stopped thinking for myself on a deeper level. Not cool, Frances.
There are so many simple metaphors that we encounter on a daily basis. A daily log of metaphors are not a bad idea in the least. Some people find it annoying to jot down everything they hear or see. For these anti-compositionists, it should not be difficult to make a mental note of these daily examples. It rains pretty regularly in Mobile. I dare say someone has recently exclaimed, "It's raining cats and dogs!" I am fired up for Christmas this year! It is mainly because Dylan will understand Santa Claus a little better! After quite an intense argument the other day, I was told that "my eyes were smoldering." Not the compliment I was looking for after a hard day, but an example of a metaphor none the less. I heard a coworker speaking of her "old flame". Judging from contect clues, I don't believe she was speaking of last night's fire.
I think Mr. Pink's idea of creating a metaphor journal is a wonderful way for kids to realize how often metaphors are used, how much they enhance a story, and how clever they make one seem. The definition that I have found for metaphor comes from www.about.com and it seems to be the one that could be most easily understood by elementary students. It reads as follows: "A figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common." While teaching a unit on metaphors, I would like to display this definition and start out each day reviewing it as well as some of the examples children have written in their metaphor journal. This journal could work for many different types of speech, such as similes, personification, alliteration, sarcasm, and many more (depending on the age group, of course). I would like to post different examples of metaphors in poems, children's books, and TV shows in my class blog and have students in my classroom and others (possibly from other regions of the world) add to the list so that students will see that metaphors are used all over by various age groups. This would also be interesting so see what types of metaphors are used in different countries.
I think Dr. Strange really put his finger on it when he stated the metaphors are used to spice up prose, poetry, conversation, and many other ways of communication. Telling it like it is can be inappropriate at times, boring at others, uncomfortable, or sometimes just plain difficult. Metaphors spark imagination and interest. Orson Scott Card eloquently states, "Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space."