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Saturday, July 29, 2017


At summer camp I am always trying to come up new ideas that are fun (because it is summer after all) and will continue to teach the students something new. I wanted to work on idioms with the upper elementary school group of kids because it is slowly becoming a lost art form! For 3 days straight we read an idiom book, the Parts series by Tedd Arnold are one of my favorite! The books are: Parts, More Parts and Even More Parts.

After we read a book each day we played my Idiom Game. This is a card game that I created many years ago, it isn't perfect and there are plenty of others that can be added but it is a great starting point. To play the game I would say an idiom out loud and the first person that could accurately describe the idiom got the card and in the end the student with the most cards wins. Unfortunately, what the assistants and I quickly learned is the students didn't really know any of the idioms! We were constantly describing and acting out idioms to help them understand. So, my Idiom Dictionary by Scholastic came in handy every once in a while when we couldn't figure out enough ways to describe something for them to understand. 

At the end of each 30 minute group each day I would ask the students to pick an idiom in the pile of earned Idiom Game cards that they could remember and put that card on top. The next day I would say the top card idiom out loud to have the students get their decks of cards back. After the 3 days of Parts idiom books and playing the card game the kids were finally getting it! WOOHOO! 

The next step of idioms wasn't originally planned but I wanted to do another extension activity to really help them understand some idioms a little bit more. So I had each student pick 2 idioms that they truly knew the meaning of and then folded 2 pieces of white paper in half for each of them.  On one side of the paper the students were going to draw the literal meaning of the words in the idiom and on the other side of the paper students were instructed to draw the actual meaning of the idiom. For instance, for the idiom Catching Some Z's the literal side would have a person catching a bunch of the letter Z in their hands and the other side would have the person sleeping. I gave the students 3 days to work on their drawings. Some students took more time because they were really enjoying the illustration aspect of this activity! Below is an example of some of the students' art work, they did such a great job! I made a color copy of their artwork and laminated it so I can hang them up next school year.

The Idiom Game card game is now a free resource on my TpT store! As I mentioned before the card game isn't perfect but it works and I added a page of blank cards for your to add your own additions. I hope you find it useful!

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