The Idiom Connection: Student Idiom Project
Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required
Computer(s), Internet access, projector
This Web site lists numerous English language idioms alphabetically and by topic. Students can be assigned to choose a set number of idioms from the site and create a presentation to teach the class the idiom(s) by creating a PowerPoint presentation, writing and performing a dialog, using Web sites to create digital films or comic strips based on dialogs, or making videos.
- Make sure that the idiom Web Site (link above) is not blocked at your school. Also check any other sites that you want to use from the list on the Example Document 1 (above).
- Download Example Document 1 - Prompt for an Idiom Project, and make any changes you need to for your level of students. Then print a copy for each student.
- Introduce a few idioms and define what an idiom is (a word or group of words that have a connotative meaning different from their dictionary meanings). For example, you can tell students an anecdote such as the following: Yesterday after work, I was so hungry. I drove to McDonald's and ate a Big Mac, a large order of fries, a shake, a diet Coke, and an ice cream cone. I ate "like a pig." Then ask students what the idiom in context means. (Answer: I ate it all very hungrily and quickly.)
- Tell students that they are going to learn idioms by using the Internet and doing a project to teach their classmates some idioms. You may want to download and modify the idiom project prompt (Example Document 1, above) for use with your own class.
- Explain the assignment with a sample project you have created.
- You may choose to have students work in pairs or small groups. Have students open the Web Site for The Idiom Connection. Demonstrate how to navigate the site by projecting the site from a computer.
- Let students browse for idioms that interest them and then take notes.
- Have students write their dialogs using (an) idiom(s) that you choose (if you choose to have them write dialogs) individually or in pairs. Collect the dialogs and provide feedback on comprehensibility, correct usage of the idiom(s), spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
- Have students use one of the Web sites listed on the assignment prompt or software such as PowerPoint or Word (clip art call out / speech and thought bubbles can be inserted) or video to create a product for presentation of their dialogs to the class.
- Have students present their idiom projects to the class. Audience members can be assigned to take notes (you can provide a list of students' idioms) on the definitions of the idioms presented.
- Later you can give students a short quiz on the idioms that were presented.
- The Web site contains some ads, but they should not be too distracting for students. Train your students how to recognize ads and avoid them on this or any other Web site.
- Students can be assigned to use the site for self-study.
- There are short quizzes with a few questions about the idioms on each alpha and/or topic page.
- You can create a list of the idioms and have students write in definitions and their own original sentences using the idioms.
- Intermediate Low
- Intermediate High
- (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions
- (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information
- (2.7) Understand aspects of society and culture
- (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
- (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology