ALEX Lesson Plan


What Are Idioms?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lisa Hunt Richards
System: Etowah County
School: John S Jones Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 11187


What Are Idioms?


After listening to More Parts by Tedd Arnold read aloud, intermediate school students distinguish between literal and figurative meaning by using a graphic organizer, playing an online game, and incorporating an idiom into their writing.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
  • Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
  • Identifying digital file types
  • ELA2015 (3)
    24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.3.3]
    a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.3.3a]
    b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations. [W.3.3b]
    c. Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order. [W.3.3c]
    d. Provide a sense of closure. [W.3.3d]
    ELA2015 (4)
    1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [RL.4.1]
    ELA2015 (4)
    24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.4.3]
    a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.4.3a]
    b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations. [W.4.3b]
    c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events. [W.4.3c]
    d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. [W.4.3d]
    e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. [W.4.3e]
    ELA2015 (5)
    42. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. [L.5.5]
    a. Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context. [L.5.5a]
    b. Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs. [L.5.5b]
    c. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words. [L.5.5c]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify idioms. Students will apply word processing skills. Students will incorporate figurative language into their writing.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    91 to 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    A copy of More Parts, by Tedd Arnold, colored pencils or markers (if computers are not used for drawing or graphics), copies of graphic organizer from Makes Sense CD

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computers with Internet access


    Introduction to computers

    1.)Introduce the lesson by explaining that writers and speakers often use expressions that don't mean exactly what the words say. Introduce the words "figurative" and "literal." Read aloud More Parts, by Tedd Arnold. As you read, point out a couple of the phrases that mean one thing while saying something else. Don't use the word "idiom" yet.

    2.)After reading the book, ask the children to recall all the silly phrases they heard.

    3.)Make a chart with two columns (or download from the Makes Sense CD a two-column graphic organizer and print it on a transparency); label one column "figurative meaning" and one "literal meaning." Lead the class in listing the silly phrases from the story under "figurative meaning;" discuss with the students what a couple of the phrases literally mean. Have students complete the second column headed "literal" on their own organizers.

    4.)Introduce the word "idiom" and guide students to arrive at a proper definition.

    5.)Encourage the students to think of any other idioms that they've heard before. Discuss their figurative and literal meanings.

    6.)Accompany students to the computer lab where they can play the game "Paint By Idioms" found at
    (Paint by Idioms)
    This site offers various learning games for children. Paint By Idioms is an excellent game to help students become more aware of idioms in everyday life.

    7.)Using a word processing program, students should select their favorite idiom, type it at the top of the page, type its explanation and a sentence or short paragraph using it correctly, and import clipart (or use drawing software) to illustrate the phrase. Print.
    Option for Limited computer availability: Back in the classroom, pass out a piece of white paper. Instruct the students to write their selected idioms at the top of the page followed by the literal meaning. At the bottom of the page, students should write a sentence or short paragraph using the idiom. In the middle of the paper, students should draw and color a picture to illustrate the figurative meaning.

    8.)Display selected completed assignments within the classroom.


    Assessment Strategies

    Students will be evaluated by teacher observation of their participation in this activity and of the written assignment from Step 7.





    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.