7 Idiom Activities for Creative Conversation Classes
Teaching English idioms is not the easiest task. The following activities will help you to engage students quickly and help them understand this difficult language topic.
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1. Crocodile Idioms
For this activity, you need to write various idioms on an index card and shuffle them. Let your students come to the front of the classroom, choose a card and act out that idiom. The rest of the class guesses which idiom it is.
2. Picture Perfect
Ask students to choose an idiom to illustrate and split a large sheet of paper into 2 sections. On the right side, they write down the meaning of the idiom, on the left side, a literal representation. When students are done with the task, post the pictures around the room and let students guess which idiom is illustrated.
3. Back to the Source
Challenge your students to tell a creative story that shows how a certain idiom could have come to be. For this task, separate your students into groups and let them choose several idioms to write a short story about. Each story should explain how each idiom came to be in an illustrated manner.
4. A Piece of Culture
Ask your students to share 1-2 idioms from their native language with the class. Each of them needs to write down a word-for-word translation of an idiom in her first language and hands it in to you. Compile all of the idioms on one sheet and make copies for each student. In groups, students guess the source (author and culture) and the meaning of each idiom.
5. Original Idioms
Encourage students to create their own idioms. For their non-literal phrase, students describe the situation and draw a picture. They write the idiom on the back of their picture. Hang these pictures from your ceiling and let others look at them and guess the idioms on their backs.
Create 3 sets of index cards - 1) idioms, 1 per card, 2) settings for the scene, and 3) characters your students will have to play. Two students improvise the situation. Each student chooses a character card and an idiom card. The pair chooses a situation card. They continue with the scene until each student has appropriately used their idiom.
7. Movie Review
In pairs, let students write a movie review using as many idioms as possible, then perform, record and send them to you. Set aside some class time to watch the reviews. Students will enjoy their own and their classmates' hard work and entertainment.
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