EL Support Lesson
Idiom Meanings and Context Clues
Students will be able to locate idioms within a text. Students will be able to use context clues to determine the meanings of various idioms.
Students will be able to differentiate between literal and nonliteral language with compound sentences using sentence frames.
- Explain that today’s lesson will focus on differentiating, or showing the differences, between literal and nonliteral language with compound sentences using sentence frames.
- Display two independent clauses on the board, such as "I was sleepy." and "I stayed up to watch the game."
- Write down a list of coordinating conjunctions that are used to create compound sentences. Combine the sentences using each of the coordinating conjunctions and think aloud about which ones work and which do not work based on the conjunctions’ meanings. Write the following sentence on the board: "I was sleepy, but I stayed up to the watch the game." Point out that the sentence shows comparison, so the word but was the best choice. Emphasize that the comma goes in front of the coordinating conjunction.
- Read a student-friendly language objective aloud (I can tell the difference between literal and nonliteral language.) and have students repeat it.
Building academic language
- Explain to students that they will look at the difference between literal and nonliteral language, but first they need to know some important vocabulary terms they will use in their explanations.
- Use the Vocabulary Cards to display the words and student-friendly definitions of the vocabulary words. Ask students to brainstorm what visuals could accompany each of the words.
- Put students into A-B partnerships. Instruct students to work with a partner to orally use the new words in sentences. Each student will choose one of the vocabulary words to use in a new sentence. Partner A will speak first, and Partner B will speak second.
- Distribute a copy of the Compound Sentences with Sentence Frames worksheet to each student and display a copy. Review the teaching box at the top with an example, and have a student read aloud the information.
- Model completing the first example by completing the sentence frame with information from the T-chart. Show the group how to read aloud the new compound sentence with a pause at the comma.
- Have students work with a shoulder partner to complete the second problem. Have them read aloud the information in the chart and complete the sentence frame. Have the group choral read the new sentence, and look for the pause at the comma.
- Instruct students to complete the remaining example independently. Go over it as a group, calling on a non-volunteer to share the new compound sentence. Ask other students to give a thumbs up or thumbs down sign to show if they agree or disagree with the statement.
- Give each student a copy of the Literal and Nonliteral Language worksheet and display a copy. Have a student read the information from the teaching box as a review of key terms.
- Read aloud the short passages to the group, and have them circle any new vocabulary words they want to discuss.
- Model completing the first example. Fill in the T-chart with the nonliteral meaning of the idiom, modeling how to use context clues from the passage. Then, complete the sentence frames.
- Have students work with a shoulder partner to complete the next example. Prompt them to choral read the text. Go over the sentence frame together as a group.
- Instruct students to complete the remaining two examples independently. Have them whisper read aloud to themselves as needed.
Additional EL adaptations
- Allow access to reference materials in home language (L1).
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
- Encourage Beginning ELs to draw visuals that show the meaning of the idioms on the worksheets.
- Ask them to rephrase the important key terms (literal, nonliteral, idiom) during the Discourse Level section.
- Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
- Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(5 minutes)
- Distribute an index card to each student. Have the class consider the definitions of two of the important key terms, literal and nonliteral.
- Write the following sentence frame on the board: The literal meaning of a phrase is ____, and the nonliteral meaning of a phrase is ____.
- Instruct students to complete the sentence frame on the index card to explain the differences between each type of meaning.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Ask students to read aloud their exit ticket sentence in which they explained the difference between literal and nonliteral meanings.
- Give another example of a common idiom, pointing out the literal and nonliteral meanings. Remind students to use context clues to figure out the nonliteral meaning. Without that, the phrase doesn’t make sense!