December 28, 2016
by Terry Talley

Lesson plan

“Oh, My Word!” with Amelia Bedelia

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Figurative Language pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Figurative Language pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify figurative language and create original idioms.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to think of weird sayings heard by older relatives and to share funny ones with the class. We call these expressions figurative language.
  • Say, "Oh, my word!" and ask if students can guess what this expression means. Explain that it means to be surprised at something.
  • Tell students that figurative language usually does not match the literal, or real, meaning of words.
  • Introduce the Amelia Bedelia book chosen for the lesson and tell students that we will find all of the surprising "Oh, my words!" that Amelia misinterprets, or doesn't understand the right way. Say, "It's okay to laugh when we hear figurative language in the story because it can be funny!"
(25 minutes)
  • Hold up and preview the Amelia book cover you've selected for this lesson.
  • Ask students to listen for figurative language that Amelia misinterprets.
  • Instruct students to say, "Oh, my word!" each time they hear figurative language.
  • Write and underline the title "Figurative Language" on the board, and tell students you will write a tally mark each time it is used in the story.
  • Read the story, and write a tally mark for figurative language each time it is used. Note that homophones may also be used in the story that Amelia also misinterprets. It is optional to title and tally these in a separate category.
  • After the story, count up the tally marks. Comment with "Oh, my word!" and ask class to repeat how many times Amelia misinterpreted what was said to her.
  • Draw two stick figures on the board with a speech bubble for each. Select and label a character's name from the story under each figure.
  • Select and write figurative language said by one of the characters that can be classified as an idiom. Idioms sometimes can have a literal meaning. For example: In Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie, Grandma refers to shopping for delicious apples. Amelia thinks this means that she has to find only tasty apples.
  • Point to the idiom speech bubble and tell the class that this vocabulary word is a kind of figurative language that can sometimes can have a literal meaning. If time allows, give more idiom examples from the story.
  • Select and write a figurative language example said by another character in the second speech bubble that is an expression that does not have a literal meaning. This can be a simile or metaphor from the story.
  • Point to the second speech bubble and explain that this kind of figurative language never has a literal meaning.
  • Choose more figurative language examples for the Go, Figure! game.
  • Introduce the Go, Figure! game. The object of the game is to say, "Go, figure!" when you say a figurative example from the story.
  • As a whole group, play the Go, Figure! game. Use figurative language expressions from the book and add some literal expressions that are not figurative. Use a signal to indicate right and wrong answers. For example, say, "Bong!" for wrong answers and "Ding!" for right answers.
(10 minutes)
  • Group students into pairs or teams and give directions on how to create team idiom speech bubbles. Students are to think of situations that are funny, surprising, silly, or challenging and to create an idiom to go with it. Team members can take turns writing the bubble and to think of new situations for the idioms.
  • Distribute dry erase boards and markers, or pencil, paper, and writing surface, and ask teams to create at least two idiom speech bubbles to share.
  • Cruise the room to elicit ideas with examples if needed and to check for understanding.
  • When the time limit is close to expiring, let students know it's almost time to share with the class.
  • Ask student teams to present the idioms to the rest of the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Use what was shared as a prompt for students to write individual idioms. For example, note how many wrote about funny situations. Ask students to think about these and other situations to prepare to write individual idioms.
  • Direct students to write an individual idiom in a speech bubble.

Enrichment: For advanced students or those who finish early, allow them to create additional idioms or to illustrate either the idiom or a character voicing it.

Support: Ahead of time, create pre-made speech bubble outlines with a word bank to choose from and/or choose a mentor student to assist struggling learners.

(5 minutes)
  • Informal: Note student responses during group game and project. For example, were they quick to respond or to hang back and let others participate?
  • Formal: Use independent work to assess level of proficiency of understanding and creating idioms.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together on carpet or other area for group discussion.
  • Ask students to share with a partner an idiom learned today.
  • Ask students to share the partner's idiom with the class.

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