By: Mrs. Sherrie Brann
Students will be able to identify idioms in the English language.
Students will be able to explain the meanings of idioms and the impact of idioms on selected texts.
Students will create products using technology resources and differentiating by interest and/or learning preference.
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (2010). Grade 6 Reading Standard for Literature “(Craft and Structure) 4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone” (p. 35).
Maine’s Learning Results (2007) Standard for Grade 6 Reading Literary Texts “A. 2 d. Explain how the effects of common literary devices, including imagery, symbolism, or metaphors, in a variety of fictional and literary nonfiction texts, help the reader understand the text” (p. 8).
Materials and Resources:
- Student laptops
- Internet access
- Overhead projector
- Anticipatory Set (Motivation)
In pairs, students will visit the Website Toon in to Idioms to view, read, and listen to the examples of modern idioms: http://www.elfs.com/2nInX-Title.html
(5 minute online activity)
As a whole group, the class will discuss the common use of idioms and brainstorm about why we use idioms instead of more straightforward language and the effects of idioms on tone and mood in communication. For example, students use modern idioms among themselves to develop a sense of comfort, familiarity, and sometimes humor. They will discuss these types of exchanges. (10 minute discussion with teacher writing class notes on the whiteboard for visual support)
- Instructional Input
Students will visit the Website Idiom Site at http://www.idiomsite.com/
and/or English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions at http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/
and/or The Idiom Connection at http://www.idiomconnection.com/
While viewing these sites, students will write down five idioms they are familiar with and five idioms they have never heard. (15 minute Internet exploration and note-taking)
Students will then write sample verbal exchanges in which the five familiar idioms are used to convey the correct meanings in fictional situations. (10 minute writing session)
Students will share their written sentences in groups of four, to familiarize each other with more idioms and examples of their uses. (5 minute sharing session)
In their groups, students will then share and discuss their five unfamiliar idioms, attempting to help their peers understand and incorporate the new idioms. (10 minute group discussion)
Finally, students will work individually to write sample verbal exchanges in which the five unfamiliar idioms are used correctly. (10 minute writing session)
As a whole group, the class will share and discuss each student’s five new idioms. (10 minute discussion with teacher writing class notes on the whiteboard for visual support)
10 points of each student’s unit grade
I will explain that students will be creating tools to teach younger children about idioms. Students can communicate their ideas through their choice of projects, as this lesson plan is differentiated by product according to student interests and/or learning preferences. I will share some examples of teaching tools other students have created in the past.
As a whole group, the class will view 2005 Middle School Division Show Me Something New: Idioms at
This is a short video students created to demonstrate and discuss several idioms.
(2 minute viewing and listening session using the overhead projector, quick discussion about the option of creating video)
As a whole group, the class will view Animated Idioms at http://mrsmccoysclassroom.com/projects/idioms/Idioms.html
This is a collection of animated illustrations of idioms students created using Flash.
(5 minute viewing and listening session using the overhead projector, discussion about creating animation)
As a whole group, the class will view IdiomGlog at http://rwales.edu.glogster.com/idiomglog/
(2 minute viewing and discussion of Glog ideas)
I will share a poster created by a previous student who invented her own idiom and illustrated it.
(2 minute viewing and discussing the option of creating an original idiom and/or designing a poster)
As a whole group, students will brainstorm further ideas for teaching younger students about idioms. (10 minute discussion with teacher taking class notes on the whiteboard.)
4. Check for understanding
Students will complete the learning activity on In Step With Idioms (reading selection and quiz) at http://library.thinkquest.org/4382/idiom.html
5 points of each student’s unit grade
- Guided practice/activity
Now that I am certain students understand idioms, I will provide them with the Differentiated Learning Rubric they will be assessed with, and I will assign them to select the type of product they wish to develop to teach younger students about idioms. We will partner with a third grade class so that students have an authentic audience to share their products with. The options described in the modeling segment of this lesson plan are possible choices, but students also discussed unique ideas and they are permitted to design their own projects. Students will keep the final assessment rubric in mind as they work, ensuring they demonstrate understanding and develop a useful teaching tool about idioms.
Students will have five days before their final products are due.
Students earn up to 70 points on their final products.
- Independent Practice/closure
Students will complete four games at FunBrain: Paint By Idioms Game at http://www.funbrain.com/idioms/
These games require students to select the correct definitions for commonly used idioms, providing self-quizzes with instant feedback and corrections. (10 minutes)
Students will complete the four games at Face Idioms at http://www.quia.com/jg/66234.html
These four games include matching, flash cards, concentration, and word search games requiring students to match idioms with their definitions.
5 points of each student’s unit grade
Students will choose and complete three Self-Study Idiom Quizzes at http://a4esl.org/q/h/idioms.html
These quizzes include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and matching activities for practice in using idioms correctly. (5 minutes)
Students will choose and complete three quizzes from English Gateway ESL Vocabulary Exercises: Idiomania at http://www.englishgateway.com/SectionVm.aspx?SectionID=f6e965dd399d4e5a8a0c4b40da9feadb
These quizzes provide examples of idioms, explanations of the idioms, and fill-in-the-blank practice in choosing the correct idioms to express ideas. (5 minutes)
5 points of each student’s unit grade
Student products will be evaluated using the Differentiated Learning Rubric at http://atozteacherstuff.com/pdf.htm?rubric_differentiated.pdf
This rubric has categories for preparation, visuals, speaking and audience contact, overall understanding of topic, and teaching value for other students. Students can earn 1-4 points in each of these categories, depending upon the quality of their work.
Lesson plan format adapted from Dr. Thomas Wolsey, Walden University, 2011.
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (2010). Retrieved from
Differentiated Learning Rubric. Online at
English Gateway ESL Vocabulary Exercises: Idiomania. Online at
English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions. Online at
Face Idioms. Online at http://www.quia.com/jg/66234.html
FunBrain: Paint By Idioms. Online at http://www.funbrain.com/idioms/
Idiom Site. Online at http://www.idiomsite.com/
In Step With Idioms. Online at http://library.thinkquest.org/4382/idiom.html
Maine’s Learning Result’s Standards for English Language Arts. (2007). Retrieved from
Self-Study Idiom Quizzes. Online at http://a4esl.org/q/h/idioms.html
The Idiom Connection. Online at http://www.idiomconnection.com/
Toon in to Idioms. Online at http://www.elfs.com/2nInX-Title.html