Similes and Switchzoo


My class has been learning about poetry and ways language can be used to paint a picture in the reader’s head. One of the ways we have been doing this is by writing similes.


The-Mixed-Up-ChameleonI introduced similes for the first time with a short discussion on their prior knowledge about similes (they had none) and then read the book The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle. I have honestly never had so much laughing in my grade as when the kids read this book today. They identified the similes in the book quickly and started coming up with their own.


Image source

Students then used the free app Switch Zoo to create their own Mixed-Up animal in the style of the Chameleon from the book. The Switch Zoo app lets users start with an animal, then change its head, tail and legs to the head, tail or legs of another animal. The results are hilarious (read: hideous)! Students wrote similes about their mixed-up animal by picking an adjective to describe their animal (e.g. fluffy) then choosing something else that could be described using that same adjective (e.g. pillow) to create their simile (e.g. My Rhicrocog is as fluffy as a pillow.) The app allows you to add a name and profile for the animal and display it as you might see on a sign at the zoo.

Here are some of our Mixed-Up Animals… enjoy!

rabbit switch



Image source – Mixed-Up Chameleon

Image source – Switch Zoo

4 thoughts on “Similes and Switchzoo

  1. I love your students animals, they are gorgeous!
    I have read my students the mixed up chameleon too and they loved it!! What an awesome idea for teaching similes, I may borrow it off you in the future 😀


  2. This is an amazing idea and use of ICT in the classroom!
    Like Miss Blake, I might use this idea also. I just know that my students will love it. We’ve been incidentally talking about similes so I may even show them this post to gauge an interest in the activity (I already know what they’ll say!).


  3. Thanks Abbey! It’s so easy to engage them with this app and it worked beautifully for similes but could be used for heaps of things, for writing especially. Let me know how it goes if you use it!


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