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Idioms can be really fun to teach. They create visual images that can be quite funny. What is an idiom, you ask?
An idiom is a phrase that has a different meaning than what is actually being said. Sounds a bit confusing, huh? It’s really not.
Have you ever said “it’s raining cats and dogs?” Well, you certainly didn’t mean that cats and dogs were falling from the sky. What about having “butterflies in your stomach?” Surely you didn’t eat butterflies for breakfast.
Each of those popular phrases, and many more, are idioms. They aren’t meant to be taken literally. But, they sure are fun to say.
Teaching Idioms with Picture Books
Can you think of any books that are jam-packed with idioms? Books that make your kids laugh out loud as the character mixes up phrases and instructions?
How about Amelia Bedelia? Bless her soul! Amelia Bedelia takes everything literally. If she’s told to dress the turkey for dinner, she’s going to put clothes on it. When she’s asked to dust the furniture (instead of un-dust it), she sprinkles it with powder. She creates some very humorous situations, and kids love it.
I suggest reading the book aloud the first time through so kids can laugh and enjoy the story. On your next read-through, have your kids raise a finger or a hand every time they hear an idiom.
Afterward, go back through the story and revisit each idiom. What did Amelia Bedelia think it meant? What does it really mean?
Extend the lesson: Have older students choose an idiom from the story and write it on a sheet of paper. Have them illustrate the idiom how Amelia Bedelia would. Then, have them write what the phrase really means at the bottom of the page.
More books that teach idioms
If your kids find Amelia Bedelia amusing they enjoy these books, as well. These are just a few books that will help you teach idioms to your students. You should be able to find them at your local library or book store. If you can’t find them locally, you can click each image cover to purchase them on Amazon.
Inside this free mini-pack, you will find an anchor chart and three worksheets to help your kids better understand idioms.