Idioms can be tough to explain. I mean, you’re basically saying, “This combination of words means something totally different than what the actual words mean.” As we’ve built out language arts elements in both our upcoming Making Camp Premium and AzTech apps, we asked teachers what they thought we should cover (especially keeping in mind AzTech is also intended for ELL students to use). Idioms kept coming up again and again, so we made sure to put them in.
Let’s begin on what an idiom can be described as: a common phrase with a different meaning than the literal meaning of the words. Idioms can be hard to explain because unless you actually know the meaning of idiom, it may make absolutely no sense. Now, we’re hard at working getting both Making Camp Premium and AzTech ready to roll out in a few weeks, but you might be thinking, “But what can I do to teach about idioms now?” Don’t worry, we’ve got a fun activity: An idioms book.
What you’ll need:
- Coloring materials (colored pencils, markers, crayons)
- A list of idioms
There’s a few different ways you can tackle this activity – and the best part is all of them are right. You can have kids pick their favorite idioms. You can assign different idioms to different kids. You can assign everyone the same idiom. Or one of our favorites is you can make it even more like a game and have kids draw out idioms.
Then have then write the idiom and what it actually means (this reinforces the memorization of the idiom’s meaning), and then have kids draw pictures as to what the idiom suggests. See what kind of fun depictions they come up with for things like, “Cool as a cucumber” and “Going bananas!”
For example, check out this from Eva’s book of idioms:
Hitting the books does not literally meaning one hits a book but “goes to study.”
A graveyard shift doesn’t really mean someone working a shift at a graveyard but “working when most people are asleep.”
Here’s a couple of more.
Now’s your turn! It’s simple! All you need is a few things you likely have around the classroom or house to help you create your very own idiom booklet!