GT Weekly Teaching Strategy: ANALOGIES

Many of us think of analogies as simply word problems and in many instances that is their format, but an analogy is basically an inference of comparison. The dictionary defines analogy as:

1. An inference that if things agree in some respects they probably agree in others

2. Drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect; "the operation of a computer presents an interesting analogy to the working of the brain”.

3. A resemblance of relations; an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus, “learning enlightens the mind, because it is to the mind what light is to the eye, enabling it to discover things before hidden.”

We can use analogical thinking to enhance the education of our gifted and talented students.

Suggestions for uses of analogies and analogical thinking:

• Word analogy problems: This strategy can help students develop vocabulary skills as well as understand abstract relationships between words.
An example: liquid: water :: solid: ice “liquid is to water as solid is to ice
• Picture analogy problems: This is similar to word analogies but pictures are used. This type of analogy work can be useful with primary students and English language learners.
• Problem solving: Students could create analogies to compare the problem to another situation. This could help students think of creative solutions. Students could use analogical thinking to generate solution ideas.
• Brainstorming: Brainstorming can be used in any situation. Adding an analogical thinking component to a brainstorming session may help students generate more creative ideas.
• Writing: Analogical thinking involves metaphorical thinking in many ways. Encouraging students to think in metaphors can greatly enrich their writing.
• Math: Students could create analogies for math operations, processes, solutions etc.
• Science/social studies: Students could look for analogies to describe relations between science and social studies concepts.

Analogies Links

Analogies Lesson
Analogy Quiz
Analogies Lessons and Printables
Factmonster Daily Analogy