Unbelievable!: Even More Non-Literal Language with Idioms

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SWBAT demonstrate an understanding of word relationships and nuance in word meanings by choosing their favorite idiom.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students will share a text called In a Pickle and choose their favorite of the idioms presented within the text.

Enroll Students Into Learning

5 minutes

Our class meets on the rug today for language and I’ve asked each student to bring over a pencil and their dry erase boards (which they will use as a hard writing surface for our time together on the rug today).  To start our lesson today, I remind the students that we’ve been learning all about non-literal language.  Before we get to the text we’re going to share today, I flip back to our Non-Literal Language Anchor Chart and just review with the kids what we’ve learned so far!

Experience Learning

5 minutes

Now, today, I tell the kids that we’re going to learn about a very special type of piece of non-literal language today.  But before I do, I want to tell them a quick little story about something that happened last night at home.  Last night, we were finishing up eating dinner, and Mr. Hesemann was going to be washing the dishes, so he was waiting for all the plates to be brought to him at the sink.  When mine wasn’t there right away, Mr. Hesemann said, “Mrs. Hesemann,  can I have your plate please?” and I said, “Okay, just keep your shirt on!  I’ll bring it in just a moment!”

Label New Learning

5 minutes

Now, I turn to the students and say, “Do you think Mr. Hesemann was trying to take off his shirt because he was doing dishes?”  The kids giggle and say no.  I ask why then I would have used the phrase “keep your shirt on”.  One of the students raises her hand and says, “My mom says that all the time.  It means just wait a minute!”  I tell the students that this is exactly right!  This is just a phrase that doesn’t mean actually what it says.  It’s definitely non-literal language, but it’s called an idiom because it’s a “phrase” that people use all the time.  I tell the students that we use these when we’re talking quite a bit, and today, as we’re reading, I bet they’ll recognize quiet a few!  I tell the kids that as I’m reading, I want them to jot down their favorites onto a Post-It note, and give a Post-It out to each student.

Demonstrate Skills

10 minutes

I start sharing the book In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms, written by Marvin Terban, with the kids.  As I read, the students comment about how they’ve heard many of these idioms and I remind them to write down their favorites as we go!  When we have finished reading through the book, I ask the kids if they have ever heard of any other idioms that were not included in this book!  The kids actually come up with a few others that weren’t listed too, such as a “frog in the throat”.  


5 minutes

At the end of today, I collect all students Post-It notes.  I’ll go through those tonight and assign an idiom to each student for tomorrow.  I’ll make sure that I give each student one idiom that they’ve selected, but that they get an idiom that no one else will receive tomorrow so each students works on their own idiom!