Analogies for Younger Children

moon : night :: sun : day. kitten : cat :: puppy : dog turtle : crawl :: frog : hop

Similarities and differences is often taught to younger children who are asked to make comparisions often by using simple sorting acitivites. A higher level of thinking is required to use analogies. An analogy is reasoning by comparision. Children are asked to analyse relationships of words and ideas.

You can ask your child how things go together or what they have in common. Verbal analogies are like little logic puzzles. Two different things are compared by breaking them into parts to see how they are related. Analogies provide an opportunity to ask children what they think are the similairites.

In the analogy

rabbit : leap :: mouse : scamper

The colons stand for words, so that when you read it aloud, you say: Rabbit is to leap as mouse is to scamper.

You can ask your child to make up their own analogies using a similiar relationship, in this case animal movement relationship. For example, horse : gallop :: duck : waddle

You can make multiple choices and then discuss each choice and see if they work or not. A wonderful opportunity to learn more about how children are thinking.

Analogies not only a logical thinking exercise, they are also important for creative thinking. One of Thomas Edison’s criteria for would-be innovators was “a logical mind that sees analogies.”

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