Teaching idioms can be difficult. It is especially difficult to teach to those who are less familiar with the English language. Idioms are one of those things that just takes practice and memorization. There really is no secret to understanding them because the whole concept of an idiom is that the meaning of the phrase cannot be deduced from the individual words and their actual meanings.
Are you in need of some ideas for teaching idioms that won’t cost an arm and a leg? Well it’s time to spill the beans because your quest ends here. Did you catch those idioms? This teacher has shared her best advice on teaching idioms with links to everything you need on this blog post about idiom activities.
Idioms are naturally fun and silly for the most part. Things like “raining cats and dogs” is a fun picture for kids. The following are just a few ideas of how to make teaching and learning idioms fun.
A great way to put idioms on the radar when first being introduced to them is to do an idiom hunt. Ask the students to make a list of all the idioms they see or hear. These could be idioms they have found in books they read, on signs or billboards, in magazines, or just in everyday conversation. Challenge them to start including idioms they learn into their conversations with others as well! This will give them exposure to a large variety of idioms in a short amount of time and also give them practice using them and understanding when it is appropriate and what the idiom means.
Doing the idiom hunt first should put students in a place to be successful with other idiom activities. This one will require a basic knowledge of a few common idioms. The activity printout can be found at the link above or you could make your own. It is as simple as having one column of idioms and another column of the actual meaning. Students should draw a line or match a letter displaying which idiom belongs to which meaning.
Act It Out
A quick game of charades is always more fun with kids. Kids are less embarrassed and have less inhibitions than adults. It can be fun to watch them get creative with acting out idiom phrases such as “hang in there,” “elbow grease,” “break a leg” or “barking up the wrong tree.”
Acting it out will test the idiom knowledge of the people on the team who are guessing, and will be memorable and fun for everyone whether in the spotlight or in the hot seat.
Idiom Learning Fun
No matter how you choose to do it, making learning activities fun will increase involvement and therefore increase learning among more members of the class. Idioms can be difficult to teach and learn, but they are naturally fun which can really help the learning process along. If you have any other fun idiom activities or try any of the ones listed above, make sure to let us know!