3 replies 

AyOuB

Location: Setif, Algeria

Positions: Classroom Teacher Administrator, English Teacher


Grade Level – 3-5 Idioms for Dummies The term idiom is used in every day English classes around the country but until you actually teach it, you have no idea what it is. In the fourth grade, I was enrolled in the Talented and Gifted, TAG, class. One day, our teacher came in and told us we were going to be doing some exploring through our own speech. I was a bit baffled by this comment so I listened on. To this day, I still remember what our assignment was, what my idiom was, and what it looked like. I used this idea last year in my own classroom, but with a slight twist. The kids in my class still remember to this day, what their idiom was, how they showed it, and now they even use idioms in their own writings. I began by reading them a story by Fred Gwynn, A Little Pigeon Toad. In this book, it begins by saying, “Mommy says Daddy is a little pigeon toad.” To the daughter, she imagines in her mind that Daddy is a bird with a toad head. But when delving deeper into the meaning of those words, we know that it means Daddy walks with his toes turned in. Every page is filled with sayings like this and it is left up to the reader to decode them. Every time I read a page, we talked about the picture that was drawn and I would have the students collaborate on what the actual meaning was. Upon completion of the book, we began writing down other idioms that were not mentioned in the book. Our list consisted of several that even I had not remembered. I told my class that they were going to select their very own idiom to illustrate. Once they chose their idiom, I wrote it down on a list that I had made so I could make sure each person did a different one. We had sayings like, “It’s raining cats and dogs,” “chewing the fat,” “sharp as a tack,” and “kick the bucket,” just to name a few. Each child was given an 11″ x 18″ piece of paper and told to hamburger-fold it. That means fold it in half on the 18″ side. Their idiom was to be written across the  so everyone would know what their saying was. On one side of the fold was to be an illustration of what the idiom said. The other side was an illustration of what it actually meant. The kids had a great time creating these drawings. I let them have about thirty minutes for the whole process of picking out an idiom and beginning to draw it out. If they did not finish, it was homework, which was not due for two days. After introducing the whole idiom idea, I began to see much more colorful writing in my students. It was very interesting to see how they used the idioms that they had learned. Now when I ask my students what an idiom is, they are very eager to answer since they all know what it is. This project did not include worksheets, but it still engaged their mind and their creativity. This lesson also helped them become more proficient writers. Thanks; C.A.


#1

zemlene

Location: philippines

Position: Classroom Teacher


Nice idea Ayoub, I can imagine that your students really had an enjoyable time doing this in class.


#2

AyOuB

Location: Setif, Algeria

Positions: Classroom Teacher Administrator, English Teacher


Thanks Zem, I hope you try this (You are a Math teacher but!) If you have any suggestions to add, please tell me.


#3

zemlene

Location: philippines

Position: Classroom Teacher


yes, i thought so when i read your post yesterday that i can’t integrate this activity in my class since in mathematics we don’t use idiomatic expressions! lol.

Anyway, i would also suggest that aside from drawing the chosen idioms, you can also try another approach here, since not all students have the skills to draw. Those students who don’t have a talent may have a difficulty to express their ideas.

What i did in my class, i let them do whatever they have in mind in order to express their own ideas. Let them draw if they like to draw, let them sing if they have the talent using of course the idiomatic expression as their lyrics. I am sure that their young minds are very creative.

Then let them present their ideas in class.

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