It is Friday night and I am curled up with my new book and a pot of tea. I have been looking forward to this moment for some time. The book is by Rick Wormeli, one of my favorite authors and is titled, Metaphors and Analogies - Power Tools for Teaching Any Subject.
The book does not disappoint me. The first chapter helps me clarify some of my thinking. He writes, " Teaching through metaphors and analogies isn't just about building personal background knowledge, so students have a context for understanding new concepts.
So, unrelated connections don't move understanding forward! Atwell and others are on the right track!
Nor is it about just giving students templates to complete (_____is to______ as __________is to__________) or assigning students to compare and contrast two periods of history or pieces of literature.
At first I am troubled by this piece, until I reread it and identify the JUST. So, this would be the starting point of the analogy.
It's also a conscious choice to scaffold learning by making meaningful connections among topics.
By giving students specific tools to think critically, such as making the invisible visible through explicit comparisons or applying knowledge from one discipline to another, we help students move beyond memorization to deeper learning that lasts."