Metaphor in the Curriculum

Available as an app for iOS and Android devices and as a website, the resource contains teaching materials, metaphor quizzes and a version of the Metaphor Map, which gives an overview of metaphor across the whole of the English language.

Quiz about metaphors of colour
Quiz about metaphors of colour

The teaching materials were designed, with advice from teachers and other educational professionals, for secondary school teachers to use with their classes, in order to help pupils to identify and understand metaphor in English. They are intended to help users to recognise and understand the mental connections that are being made when we use metaphors, to identify the area of meaning that the metaphor has come from, and the area of meaning to which vocabulary has been transferred (e.g. ‘a bright child’ uses the word bright, which has been transferred from the area of LIGHT into the area of INTELLIGENCE). The materials have wider applications beyond schools – the creative writing exercises can spark off ideas in writers of any age and the introductory and non-fiction exercises show how to unpick the ways in which we are prompted, by language, to view the world around us.

The Metaphor Map of English shows the metaphorical links which have been identified between different areas of meaning. These links can be from the Anglo-Saxon period right up to the present day so the map covers 1300 years of the English language. This allows us to track metaphorical ways of thinking and expressing ourselves over more than a millennium.

Project website:

Main contact: Wendy Anderson

Developer: Brian Aitken

Start year: 2016

End year: 2016

Funded by: AHRC

Subject area: English Language & Linguistics

Keywords: AppHistory of EnglishLearning and TeachingMetaphorVisualisation

Record last updated 2020-01-24