Idioms: A Piece of Cake
In this lesson, students will understand what idioms are and how to use them in speaking and writing.
Introduction (15 minutes)
- Introduce students to the concept by using a common idiom in a sentence. For example, you could say: The spelling test was a piece of cake.
- Ask your students what you meant by the phrase you said. After hearing student responses, explain that you used an idiom, or a common phrase that has a different meaning from the actual words used. Tell your students the meaning of your idiom. For example, Saying the test was "a piece of cake" means saying that the test was easy.
- Tell the class that different cultures have their own idioms to express their feelings, and describe things with lively language.
- Play the video Symphony in Slang by Tex Avery. Tell students to make note of any idioms in the movie.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- After the movie, have a brief discussion with students. Some great discussion questions include: What are some examples of idioms you heard? What was happening when the main character spoke to the angels?
- Tell the class that they will be researching and selecting an idiom to illustrate for a class book.
- Instruct them to write a sentence using their chosen idiom, and then underline, illustrate, and define the idiom.
- Model this for the class. For example, write: I'm going to hit the sack. Underline "hit the sack," and draw a picture of you hitting a sack. On the bottom of your drawing write: go to bed.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- After modeling the task, open the floor to questions from your class.
- Pass out a copy of the list of idioms to each student.
- Give students about 10 minutes to pick an idiom they would like to illustrate.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Have students work independently on their idiom exercises.
- Walk around the classroom and ask questions to see if the students understand the idioms they're illustrating.
- Enrichment: Have students who need a greater challenge research idioms in other languages and illustrate them to create their own idiom books.
- Support: Have students who need support write the idioms themselves, and illustrate them.
- An interactive whiteboard can be used to project the video and idiom examples.
Related Books and/or Media
- In a Pickle: And Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban
- Even More Parts by Tedd Arnold
Assessment (15 minutes)
- To check for mastery, have each student complete the worksheet Idioms: A Figure of Speech.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Call students together as a group to share their idioms.
- Remind your students that cultures have different idioms that they use to express feelings, and describe things with lively language.