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Figurative Language: Bringing Metaphors and Similes to Life with Brush Ninja Animation Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

Students will be able to identify and create metaphors and similes using figurative language, and animate them using Brush Ninja.


  • Whiteboard or chart paper
  • Markers
  • Laptops or tablets with internet access for each student/group
  • Brush Ninja website
  • Graphic organizers for metaphor and simile creation


  1. Introduce the concept of figurative language, specifically metaphors and similes.
  2. Provide examples of metaphors and similes from literature or popular culture, such as “life is a journey” or “she’s as sweet as candy.”
  3. Discuss how these figures of speech can add richness and depth to writing.
  4. Have students work in pairs or small groups to brainstorm their own metaphors and similes on a given topic, such as “the beach.”
  5. Students should use graphic organizers to write down their ideas before moving onto animation.
  6. Introduce Brush Ninja as an animated gif maker that can bring these figures of speech to life.
  7. Demonstrate how to use the program, including selecting backgrounds, drawing characters, and animating movements.
  8. Have students work individually or in pairs/groups to create their own animations based on their chosen metaphor/simile using Brush Ninja.
  9. After creating animations, have students share their creations with the class.


Assessment will be ongoing throughout the lesson through observation of participation during group work time and individual animation creation time. Additionally, assessment could include completion of graphic organizers that demonstrate understanding of metaphor/simile creation.


For advanced students who may finish early:

  • Encourage them to create additional animations using different figures of speech they have learned about in class.
  • Challenge them to write a short story incorporating multiple figures of speech that they also animate with Brush Ninja.

For struggling students:

  • Pair them with a partner for the brainstorming portion of the lesson to provide additional support.
  • Provide a list of potential topics or figures of speech to choose from.

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

More Tutorial Videos →

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Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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