That Old Cliché
Students will understand the origins and meaning of certain clichés.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- As an introduction to this lesson, use sticky notes to post the following prompt (cliché): Time heals all wounds.
- Ask all students to suggest a meaning for the prompt.
- Have students volunteer to share their thoughts.
- They may come up with answers similar to this: “pain and misery get easier as time passes by.”
- Tell students that the prompt is a figure of speech known as a cliché.
- Tell students that clichés are phrases and opinions that usually express a popular thought or idea but have been overused so much that they have lost their originality and impact.
- Have students identify the meaning of the analogy and reveal if the cliché has any real meaning for them.
- Explain to students that in this lesson, they will understand the meaning of words and phrases that are clichés.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Write an example of a cliché on the board like the following: Don’t cry over spilled milk.
- You can also use any examples from the That Old Cliché: List worksheet.
- Have students identify the meaning of this expression (don’t be upset over things that have already happened and you cannot change).
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Have students work in pairs or small groups to complete the That Old Cliché: Guided Practice worksheet.
Independent Working Time (25 minutes)
- Using the That Old Cliché: List, have students identify ten clichés that they are familiar with.
- Tell students that in addition to those directions, they must summarize their definition and use each cliché in a sentence.
- Enrichment: Allow advanced students to create a product of their choice that illustrates their understanding of clichés.
- Support: Have struggling students work with you or a partner to create a paragraph that includes clichés they know.
An interactive whiteboard can be used to display examples as students identify clichés throughout the lesson.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Review the basic definition of clichés.
- Have students write their explanations and examples on a notecard or exit ticket.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Recap today’s lesson
- Have students explain in their own words what they learned today.
- Allow students to ask questions that they still have.