People often find the distinction between metaphors and similes a difficult concept to master. Teaching these subjects using fun activities makes the challenging topic easier to learn. These activities do not take much preparation, but get your whole class or group involved. Be sure to provide your students with lots of examples so they are never confused about the differences between the terms.
Give your class a few metaphors and similes and have them draw pictures of each. Tell them to draw a picture of the metaphors in one color and the similes in a different color. This way they get a chance to be creative, but you can also tell if they understand the different between a simile and a metaphor. You can let them choose their own colors or choose two colors that everyone has to use. For example, tell your students to draw similes in red and metaphors in blue. Then give them a sentence like, "You're as cool as a summer breeze." Then they would draw a picture in red because it is a simile.
Read a book to your class that is full of similes and metaphors. Have your students make a noise like “beep” when they hear a simile and “buzz” when they hear a metaphor. The student who says it first gets a piece of candy. You can also have them just make one noise, then ask the student if it was a simile or a metaphor. The reward doesn't have to be candy either; it can be an extra minute at break or some other reward system you use in your class.
Give students a word bank with lots of words. Choose words that the students will find relevant to their age level. If your class has a weekly vocabulary list, then use the words from that so they get practice using them. Then have them write a certain number of simile and metaphor examples. Make sure they write equal amounts of each so they learn how to use them proficiently.
A fun activity is to let your students make up a story using similes and metaphors. Give them a set number of each that must appear in the story and then let them go to work. You can give them a genre of story, like autobiography or fiction. Then have them write the story as the activity for the day or as homework. Write a short one of your own so they can see exactly what you want from their stories. This shows your students not only what both of these concepts are, but also how to execute them in their writing.