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Two for Tuesday: Introducing Idioms

It's Tuesday, which means it's time to link up with the Teaching Tribune for another Two for Tuesday!  Extra bonus- It's also time for a Christmas in July update.  I'm calling today and tomorrow "My Favorite Under $4" sale.  All of my favorite products under $4 will be on sale today for 20% off… but wait!  Two of those products will be marked down to 50% off in celebration of Two for Tuesday!  First one up for 50% off is my Introduction to Idioms:
Idioms are confusing! Have you ever found yourself using an idiom in front of your students and then watched them wrinkle their noses and bring their eyebrows together in look that screams "WHAT?!?"  Well, it's because idioms, by definition, are confusing.  

 or… the way I like to explain it to students:

So, how do you teach such a difficult concept to students?  Well, a brilliant teacher {Thank you Ms. Greco!} shared her secret with me this year, and gave me permission to bring it to all of you.

1.  Write a common idiom on the board, or say it aloud if you have kiddos who aren't readers yet.  {a great one to get the ball rolling is "Kill 2 birds with 1 stone."  It's a concept that they can grasp, but are often appalled at the idea of killing poor, defenseless little birds!}

2.   Ask to see if anyone has ever heard someone say that phrase.  Often one or two students have an can provide its meaning.  {If they do, abbreviate steps 3 & 4}  If they can't though… don't worry.  Just try out the next step.

3.  Explain the idioms meaning {e.g. If you kill two birds with one stone, you achieve two things with the one action.}

4.  Provide students with an example of killing two birds with one stone.  I might tell them that yesterday after school I needed to exercise and clean my house, so I danced around with the vacuum for a while and killed two birds with one stone! {provide more if necessary}

5.  Share that there are thousands of idioms in the English language, and it can make it very confusing sometimes, especially for children or people learning the language.  Explain that today they are going to learn {insert # of students you have} new idioms, but they have a project to do first!

6.  Break out the idiom activity pages where only half of each idiom is provided.  I read each idiom starter aloud and have students raise their hand if they think they have a great idea for what comes next.    I choose randomly from the students raising their hands, and send them off to finish the idiom and illustrate it.  {I make sure to tell students, "If you know what actually comes next because you have heard this idiom before, please keep it to yourself for now.  I'm thrilled that you already know some idioms, but the project is much more fun when we don't know the answer!"}

7.  When students are finished, we gather at meeting with their new idioms in hand.  I then give each of them a copy of the real idiom with its meaning {included in the product} and let them discuss it with the peers sitting near them.  I circulate, answering many questions and laughing along with them as they realize how ridiculous it all is!

Here are some from this year that had me in tears because I was laughing so hard!

Note to self:  Never bite the hand of the dentist! Ouch!

Thanks for the tip! No more changing in glass houses for me!

 A likely outcome… nice!

True story! Rainy days are gloomy!

I highly recommend this activity.  You will get a good laugh in for the day, and your students will learn a lot about the complexities of English. {dare I say, you will be killing two birds with one stone?}

Also up for 50% off today is last week's Two for Tuesday discussion starter:  Geography Question of the Week!  Both of these items will be on sale for 50% TODAY ONLY!

Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Favorites Under $4 that are marked down 20% today and tomorrow.  Happy 8th day of Christmas {in July}!

Make sure to check out the other great Two for Tuesday deals from the fabulous bloggers that have linked up this week!

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