Lesson plan

Get the Picture? Take a Shot at Idioms

Use a short story that can be told entirely in idioms and students will get the picture! Students match story strip text to idioms in this interactive exercise that includes a matching worksheet assessment.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Idioms pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Idioms pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use context clues to link an idiom to a definition.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together to prepare for the Rainy Day Friend story.
  • Introduce the story as one that we will use to learn more about words we call idioms. Review that idioms are expressions that use a word picture, or figurative language to describe a situation or thing.
  • Tell the class that we'll use context clues to figure out what the idioms mean after we read the story in sections, from beginning to end.
(10 minutes)
  • Write the title of the story on the board. Ask students to predict what a "rainy day friend" means in the story. Write responses on the board.
  • Model and review the use of context clues to determine meaning of unfamiliar words. List "fair weather friend" next to the story title and think aloud: "If I use a context clue for the words I know, 'weather,' and 'friend,' I can guess these two expressions mean the opposite of one another."
  • Direct students to use context clues during the story to figure out what the title means.
  • Read the eight numbered story strips in order.
(15 minutes)
  • After the story, direct students to share with a partner what they think the title means.
  • Tell the students that the title is an idiom, and that we'll practice using context clues to match idioms to other parts of the story next.
  • Tape the numbered story strips in order on the board. With a dry-erase marker, list the story strip number beside each strip, large enough for all students to see it.
  • Re-read the underlined text for each numbered story strip and announce that there is a matching idiom to go with each one.
  • Select one of the lettered idiom strips and read it aloud. Ask students to think about which story number strip it goes with. Re-read the story strips if needed.
  • When students are ready to answer with the story strip number that matches the idiom, ask them to show his or her numbered answer by holding up that many fingers. For example, for the "hold your horses" idiom/story strip match, students would hold up two fingers to indicate story strip number two with the underlined phrase, "The bus driver told me to slow down."
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute the Idiom Match-Ups worksheet and give the directions: Draw a line to match the idiom to its meaning. This worksheet includes each idiom reviewed during the guided practice session.
  • Enrichment: Allow advanced students to write and illustrate new idioms for rain, tests, or other subject covered in the story.
  • Support: Pair struggling learners with more advanced ones to read aloud the worksheet during independent working time.
  • For additional idiom practice, use websites devoted to idioms that are geared to students.
(5 minutes)
  • Informal: Note students who are quick to respond and use context clues during group time and those who are not responding or who give incorrect answers.
  • Formal: Collect the Idiom Match-Ups worksheets and assign a percentage grade. Modify grades if needed for those who needed additional coaching to complete the assignment.
(10 minutes)
  • Gather students in a circle and take turns retelling the story as you say, first, then, etc.
  • Ask students to share with a partner one new idiom they learned today.

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