Students struggle with the meaning of the idioms that appear in many of the texts they read; they just aren’t hearing them or using them in their everyday life. And although idiom usage is tested on many of the standardized exams across the country, the more important concept to working with idioms is the critical thinking component. Students must truly be able to assess the background of the speaker, understand a bit about the occasion during which an idiom was originally created and used, and consider the audience for which it was intended (the old rhetorical triangle!). They must be able to recognize and decipher the nuances in the meaning of the phrase. Idioms all have an original literal meaning that has now become figurative.
This lesson contains several components to pick and choose from to either introduce your students to idioms or to refresh them on idioms. There are two video links, an extensive list of commonly used idioms, background information, a small group worksheet, and a short assessment with writing application. It is a light lesson and I often use it during those final days before state testing when we all need a break from the heavy push of test preparation. The lesson is compilation of resources I have gathered and edited from the internet and includes links to videos readily available on YouTube. I have taught it to both middle and high school students and they all enjoyed it. The worksheet is fully editable.