‘Like a coconut in a bank vault’ : Group Similes at Taft

To address Simile (made up of the Tenor and the Vehicle) and the senses,  I read the 8th Graders, Sweet Like A Crow by Michael Ondaatje. Before that, students took a stab at putting together a class-long simile, placed on index cards. In groups, they worked together to create this artistic installation which took over various surfaces in the room. We talked a little about emotion and tried to transfer those emotions, into a List Poem, using simile as Ondaatje had in a Group Poem. Here are some examples of their group work.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
1st Period

Mo A., Denise P., Kaylie P., Ariana R., Elizabeth T.

Peace circles make me rattled
like a spooky, scary skeleton
like Trump speaking
like lollipops and near car accidents
like poetry
like formative assesments
like pills and medication
like live snakes
like a baby rattle shaking in the palm of
an infant.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
3rd Period

Gillian L., Prisila D., Heidi B., Penelope O.

like a cat in the rain
like a flick to the head
like a stomp on the foot
like the dwarf
like rain at a picnic
like hot coffee turned cold
like trash missing the can
like a small paycheck
like mail not delivered
like too much home work
like candy stolen
like a broken crayon
like ice cream on the ground
like missing car keys
like a flat tire
like a missing coat button
like over due books
like too hard tests


Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
6th Period


Madeline F., Sergio D., Daywon R., Waseem S.

Like a rock hitting a hornet’s nest
Like Thor slamming his hammer
Like a gym teacher calling you obese
Like a football across the field out of frustration
Like someone stepping on your glasses and breaking them
Like eating the last bite of your sandwich

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
7th Period

Krishna N., Maiah C., Victor C., Suzanne M., Vincent M., Isabella W.

Like a person with writer’s block
Like a person stuck in traffic
Like a crusty piece of paint trapped below a pastel
Like a student in Spanish class
Like an alien trapped on Earth for 7 years
Like a person trying to learn Spanish in 8th Grade
Like a turtle on its back
Like a student in gym class
Like a hundred children being rounded up after

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
8th Period

Matthew B., Nicholas G., Aaron I., Katherine V.

Frustration is
Like a coconut inside a bank vault
Like fingers screeching on a chalk board forever
Like losing your left sock
Like your ice cream falling on the ground
Like trying to find where the tape starts on the tape roll.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.