Idioms

Ag_english_idioms

Draw a 3D scene that illustrates an idiom or funny expression that we commonly use
Grades 4-6

We use common idioms daily although these expressions have no literal meaning.  An example of this usage would be "raining cats and dogs." The expression is one that generally means that the amount of rain that is falling is very heavy, not that it is really raining cats and dogs down on us.  Idioms can be found that start with a particular alphabet letter or that use animals, body parts, colors, or other subject areas as the basis for the expression.  Finding out how these idioms came into being is also a very interesting and educational exercise.  This activity requires students to recall funny expressions that they have heard and then illustrate a 3D scene that describes one of these expressions.

Preparation
A reproducible is provided that has some of the more common expressions we hear.  Discuss these with the students in a classroom discussion.  Have students discuss some common examples at home and bring examples into class.

Procedure
Focus a class discussion on funny expressions.  List the expressions on the blackboard and assign each expression to individual students or a group to develop a 3D scene.

Research and discuss how the expressions came into use.  Was the expression developed in a particular geographical area or by a particular cultural group?

Students draw a 3D scene depicting the expression.  Journal writing is done based on the scene.

Evaluation
Students will be evaluated on their ability to complete the assignment and on written entries about their selected expression scenes.

Student understanding may be assessed through questioning and the discussion that results from the exercise.  Evaluations may be done on an individual or group basis.

Extensions
Make a class book on selected expressions and their derivations.

Have students try to make up an expression.

Discuss other expressions that might not be so easy to illustrate with a 3D scene.  Brainstorm how to make a scene that might be logical.

Students will develop a match list for idioms and their meanings.

Sample Idioms List
*  Raining Cats and Dogs
*  Put all your eggs in one basket
*  Change horses in mid stream
*  Get on one's high horse
*  Hit the bulls eye
*  Horse around
*  In the doghouse
*  Let sleeping dogs lie
*  Let the cat out of the bag
*  Put the cart before the horse
*  Do something until you are blue in the face
*  Give the green light
*  Grass is always greener on the other side
*  Horse of a different color
*  Once in a blue moon
*  Paint the town red
*  A bird in hand is worth two in the bush
*  Bird's eye view
*  Chickens come home to roost
*  Count one's chickens before they hatch
*  Lose your head
*  Head over heels
*  Spill the beans
*  Tip of the Iceberg
*  The ball is in your court
*  Stretch the truth
*  Make your hair stand on end
*  One brick short of a full load
*  Chip on one's shoulder
*  Find a needle in a haystack
*  It's a small world

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