Friday, 10 August 2012

An Intro To Everyday Metaphor

I've just started reading James Geary's I Is An Other, a magnificent book about the power and prevalence of metaphor. Surprisingly, he believes we use around six metaphors a minute - some of which are obvious, some of which are the skeletal remains metaphors which have become so commonplace as to be invisible. It's a fascinating book and excellent reading for anyone with an interest in language.

For me, it has proved inspirational. I've never seen metaphor taught as anything other than a literary device - and often this teaching has been dry and prosaic. Surely it would be better to give students a grounding in the everyday nature of metaphor before examining literary applications for it? If they realise how often metaphor is used in their daily lives - and by themselves - surely they'll be far better placed to understand it a more academic sense.

With that in mind, i've designed a quickfire whizz through everyday metaphor which references Elvis Presley, Andy Carroll, Australian weather forecasters, the human skeleton and, obviously, young Romeo of Verona. As usual, it's not gonna be perfect - i'm only a learner myself. But the activities, questions and ideas in this plan can be adapted and modified to your own purposes.

I'd anticipate the lesson taking an hour and the Powerpoint slides are not necessary at all unless you enjoy a little visual stimulus (or just like gazing at Elvis).

An Intro to Everyday Metaphor Plan
An Intro to Everyday Metaphor Handout
An Intro to Everyday Metaphor Slides

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