Teaching Children About Idioms

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Teach young children about idioms by reading aloud the book Amelia Bedelia and asking them to listen for funny phrases and how she responds to them. Continue the lesson on teaching children about idioms with directions from an elementary teacher in this free video.

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Hello, my name is Jan Polen and I'm a Teacher in North Canton, Ohio. Today, I'll give you some ideas on how to teach idioms to young children. Idioms are words and sayings that have hidden meanings. Often, these expressions do not mean exactly what the words say. For this lesson, you'll need a copy of an Amelia Bedelia book written by Peggy Parish. There are several when you go to the library to choose from. Read aloud this story to your students and ask them to listen for funny phrases and how Amelia Bedelia responds to them. She has a list of things to do. One of the first things she's asked to do is to dust the furniture. Now, Amelia Bedelia takes a dusting powder and actually puts dust on the furniture. She's also asked to draw the drapes when the sun comes in. She takes her pencil and a pad of paper and actually begins to draw the tape, drapes. As you're reading, ask students to point out some of these funny phrases and describe how Amelia Bedelia comes up with her take on idioms. After you've done this, it'll be a good idea to make a chart and list some of these idioms so the students can actually see them. Another reinforcement activity would be to hand out slips of paper with phrases of idioms printed on them to pairs of students such as a piece of cake, fight to the nail, fat chance, cut me some slack. Then, ask these pairs to work together and pretend that they are to explain this phrase to a non-English speaking student so that they can understand what this idiom is actually does mean. So, you can have them then come forward after they've had a chance to brainstorm, explain their phrase. They can also draw pictures to help explain it, act it out, use words and they'll come up with an idea to help understand what idioms are. I hope you'll find these ideas useful when teaching young children about idioms. Thank you, I'm Jan Polen.

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