Revisiting analogy.

by Pam Hook on August 11, 2013

in HookED Store, John Biggs, Nick Denton, Resources, SOLO Maps, SOLO Taxonomy


Modelling the process of making an analogy is an on-going challenge for educators.

In my previous consultancy I developed a visual process map and self-assessment rubric to help students unpack existing analogies or create their own. It worked in part but I was never terribly happy with it. Oftentimes the output of the activity seemed no more than matching items – something that trivialised the sort of student outcomes I sought.

Creating and making meaning from analogies (or even metaphors, whakatauki, and similes) needs students who can play with many different concepts and experiences. It requires students to see (observe from all perspectives, focal points and locations) – to think (using explanation and inference) and to sit back and wonder (using whimsy, generalisation and evaluation).

I wanted a visual mapping approach to making analogy – that prompted deeper and wider connections – a SOLO map that encouraged something more than “Itchy is to Scratchy as Tom is to Jerry”. [Or via @DrRacheal shouldn’t that be “Itchy is to Scratchy as Jerry is to Tom”]

Time spent revisiting the original last year has been worthwhile – I have a new HookED analogy process map (and self-assessment rubric) that is generating much improved student analogies (and metaphors and similes) in the schools I work with. Contact me if you would like an editable copy along with the self assessment rubric.



You check it out online here.




Nick Denton has designed a fabulous interpretation of the HookED Analogy Poster (see image at top of post.). You can download an A3 or A2 print quality version from the HookED Store.

Biggs places “analogy” as a task at the relational level – an effective strategy for making links between ideas but as he cautions the level of the task can shift according to context and content.

Using metaphors in poems like writers Sylvia Plath, Kay Ryan and Billy Collins do – and even the ongoing work on making a metaphor or whakatauki for the levels of SOLO Taxonomy – are surely extended abstract activity.

P.S. The more I examine making analogies the more it seems central to thinking itself.

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