It is assumed that analogies constitute one important component of  teachers’ practice in a CLIL lesson, as the same concept can be represented in more than one type of relationship which helps refine understanding and promote cognitive flexibility, and new unfamiliar learning can be connected and taught using a familiar context.

An analogy is a comparison between two things that are usually thought to   be   different  from  each   other,   but   that   have   something   in common. Analogies help  us understand  something  because  they  are compared  to  something  we  already  know.  Learning  analogies  can  help reading and building vocabulary.

Used as a warm-up at the beginning of any lesson, these mini-task analogies help students focus on thinking and problem-solving skills.

Analogies can be fun to learn! Analogy games make learning analogies even more exciting!

Available in printable, PDF format:



You will need:

•   A copy of Worksheet 1 (it should be cut along the lines) for each pair of students.


1. Explain what an analogy is (see the introduction), and present it as a game where all students have to figure out what goes with the last word. As students often get confused with what analogies are and how to use them, you should give them a few examples to make it easier to understand.

Bird is to feather as dog is to                . (fur)

Hot is to Africa as              is to the North Pole. (cold)


2. As it might still sound a little confusing, you could let them watch these two fun videos to get a better understanding of what analogies are and to learn different analogy types:

3. Explain to the students that colons “:” are used in a special way in analogies.

:  = is to

:: = as

4. Once the students have understood what to do, copy these easy analogies on the board to do a little bit of group practice before doing the exercises in pairs:

Choose the best choice to complete the analogy:

1.  banana : yellow :: cherry :

white   purple   red

2. apple : red :: peach orange   green pink

3. snow : white :: coal :

grey   black   brown

4. blackberry : black :: raspberry :

yellow    red    orange

5. sun : yellow :: sky :

blue   violet    red

6. grapes : purple :: pineapple ::

brown    white   yellow

7. chocolate : brown :: sugar :

yellow   pink   white

8. lime : green :: lemon :

pink  orange   yellow

9. orange : orange ::

5. Distribute copies of one section to every pair of students sitting

together and give them ten minutes to complete the task. Do this (using different sections) everyday as a warm-up/routine before the lesson starts.

6. As an extension activity you can ask each pair of students to create their own analogies to be completed by the rest of the groups.

7. Praise everyone’s effort.


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