Idioms for Language Arts

Break a leg!
Cat got your tongue?
Cry me a river!

I love teaching figurative language in my English classes...
more specifically, idioms. The kids love to question
the meanings of such idioms...and especially
look up the origin of these meanings.

This is a great site...
with tons and tons of idioms.

Most recently when studying idioms in my 8th grade
class, the students created a book where they
chose ten idioms (one for each page), and on
each page included the following:
1. The idiomatic expression
           2. The literal meaning of the idiom
                        3. An illustration of the figurative meaning
      (these were so silly and funny!)

Here's the little cover a coworker designed a few years back...kind of
like those Dummies Guide to Cooking etc...

here's a sample of the idiom written out, illustrated, and the literal 
meaning explained (I just had them choose 10 for the little books we made)...

It's also nice to give the students of list of common idioms with their meanings. 
I think as adults we take for granted that young people have the background 
knowledge or understanding of many idioms we grew up hearing. 

Lastly, if you have internet access at school...this YouTube video is worth a view!
The kids loved this guy's questioning of American idioms...
If you teach ELD or language arts, and figurative language is part of
your grade level standards...consider showing this video.
My students ask me daily, "Can we watch the video again??"
Of course, I am just glad they understand that idioms can not be
literally translated, thus fall under the tree of figurative language.


The Polka Dot Closet said...

I never knew what they were called! I was in line talking to some other people in line and said "Well, I guess I've opened a can of worms" the teenager next to me said, well why did you do that? I said what? She said "Open a can with worms in it"....I felt sooooo old!


Melodee said...

haha that's funny! I guess the idioms we are so used to are a mystery to the youth of today:))

Janaye said...

Thanks for linking up and sharing!!



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