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Post Exam Twilight Zone, Part Deux

posted Apr 8, 2015, 9:06 AM by Caroline Suh   [ updated Apr 8, 2015, 9:09 AM ]

IDIOMS! It's time to get your students back into the fun of language! Spend some time introducing your students to the purpose of idioms. Idioms are funny and creative, but another aspect of author's craft. Idioms practice can range from using them for writing and discussion prompts, as well as connecting them to any texts. Check out the following ideas and exercises below on idioms fun-time!

IDIOMS Why use idioms? What’s the point or benefit of using idioms?

Use them as writing prompts:

A phrase such as, "a fool and his money are soon parted" could inspire a great story. "Every cloud has a silver lining" could inspire an essay on finding something good in an otherwise bad situation. "In the heat of the moment" could be the theme behind a story about doing something foolish - or perhaps brave.

Use them as discussion starters or Do Nows in connection with your content

"You can't judge a book by its cover" could be the start of a discussion about false first impressions, unfairly judging or racism. "Rome wasn't built in a day" could start a discussion about persistence. You could have all kinds of interesting discussions around, "The ends justify the means."

Connect idioms to your texts and readings

After reading a chapter or paragraph or excerpt, have students choose which idioms they would use to describe the situation or event.

Give me a hand

It's raining cats and dogs

Hit the books

Keep an eye on you

You're pulling my leg

Cat's got your tongue

Cold turkey

Wear your heart on your sleeve

In the doghouse

When pigs fly

Put your foot in your mouth

Bite off more than you can chew

Toss your cookies

All in the same boat

Barking up the wrong tree

Birds of a feather flock together

Crying over spilt milk

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched

It takes two to tango

Let the cat out of the bag

Out on a limb

Rub salt in your wound

The straw that broke the camel's back

Which IDIOM fits best? Read the scenario and write a complete sentence using the idiom that best fits the situation

Jump on the bandwagon               Burn the midnight oil                    Costs an arm and a leg          

Beat around the bush           Feel a bit under the weather         Take with a grain of salt        

1. Jose had a 100 degree fever last night and now has aches and pains.


2. Patricia’s final senior math exam is in 2 days and she plans on studying all day and night.


3. When Tisha got home from school, it took her 4 hours to get the courage to admit to her mom that she lost her iphone.


4. After their minor car accident, the Johnsons were shocked at how expensive it would be to replace the rear window of their car.


5. When Ricky overheard Jalen say school was cancelled the next day, he was not sure Jalen could be trusted to tell the truth.


6. Although Patrick raised his daughter to be kind and caring, it was disappointing  to see his daughter quickly become critical and mean when her friends started insulting their teacher.


7. Write your own scenario for this idiom: Bite off more than you can chew