Explain Those Idioms

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will recognize idioms for their actual as well as realized meaning.

Grade Level: 4 - 5th

Subject: English/Language Arts

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

Common Core Alignment

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.5.B - Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to successfully illustrate idioms in two ways (real and perceived meaning) I.e. ‘Kick the bucket’ real meaning – kicking a bucket, Perceived meaning – to die

Materials Needed

  • Long drawing paper
  • List of idioms (samples included as attachment)
  • Art supplies markers/crayons/colored  pencils


Opening to Lesson

Begin the lesson by asking students if they have ever heard of an idiom. Explain that an idiom is a common word or phrase that has a cultural as well as actual meaning. Share the phrase ‘kick the bucket’ and explain as above. Explain that sometimes it is easiest to show the different meanings in drawing form, which is what they will do today.

Body of Lesson

Hand out long sheets of paper to each student. Have students fold the paper lengthwise in half and then in half twice width wise (sample below). Have students choose four idioms they would like to illustrate from the list (samples given). If needed, explain some of the idioms to students. In each box have students draw a real meaning illustration and a perceived meaning illustration for each  idiom.


Review each idiom with students in relation to their drawing. Display drawings.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Student will  create neat illustrations that properly illustrate the real and perceived meaning of common idioms.

Modification & Differentiation

Lessen the number of idioms required.

Download Attachments

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