English Idioms Daily Blog

... your resource for English idioms, ESL and more!


How to Inspire Students to Love Language and the Arts

Art instructor Antje Naumann does not just know a lot about paints, palettes, brushes and canvas. A talented and clever teacher, she also knows a bit about how to kill two birds with one stone. The former student and longtime dedicated art instructor of the Wiesbadener Freie Kunstschule, an art school in Wiesbaden, Germany, sought to combine the joy of what she loves the most, painting, with the love of the English language. Having heard about the Kids’ English Idiom Art Contest 2012 and always looking for ways to inspire her young students, the artist from Saxony-Anhalt asked members of her weekly children’s art club to pick up their paintbrushes and depict English idioms, proverbs and sayings, both real as well completely made-up or imaginary. With this assignment, the students could learn basic art concepts as well as what an English idiom is in an entertaining, educational and inspirational way. The results were: lots of fun, lots of learning and lots of nice paintings.

Such is Life
Such is Life
Alma, age 8

Apple of My Eye
The Apple of My Eye / It’s Raining Cats and Dogs
Evelyn, age 9

True Friends are Like Diamonds
True Friends are Like Diamonds
Mona, age 9

Give Peace a Chance
Give Peace a Chance
Alma, age 8

Precious but rare
Precious but Rare
Manal, age 9

Antje Naumann, whose motto is art is fun and the best game to play, no matter how old you are instructs art courses for inspiring artists of all ages in Leipzig and Wiesbaden, Germany, as well as through distance education courses offered worldwide. She can be contacted through the Wiesbadener Freie Kunstschule.

Idiom Quiz for Kids
Idiom Quiz: Animals
A Short Story with Idioms - for Kids
Ideas for Teachers: Creative Writing Exercises with English Idioms


Kids' English Idiom Art Contest 2012

Kids English Idiom Art Contest

Attention Teachers and Students:

Are you looking to bring English idioms to life in your classroom? November 23rd, 2012 is the deadline for the first annual English Idioms Blog’s Kids’ English Idiom Art Contest. Why not motivate your students and potentially win prizes for your class?

Simply send in your students’ best English idiom illustrations. These idioms can be real ones or fictitious ones. The best illustration will win a US $150.00 Amazon gift certificate for your class, with second and third place winning Amazon gift certificates in the amounts of US $100.00 and US $50.00, respectively, to spend as your class sees fit! To top it off, the top ten illustrations will be published here on this blog. Here are the rules:

  • This contest is open to classes of school children aged 8 - 12 at the time of entry who have obtained parental consent to participate. Teachers must confirm that this parental consent has been obtained.
  • The contest participants are participating on behalf of their classes. Hence, a win for one is a win for all!
  • Illustrations should not be bigger than an A4 piece of paper, which is 21 cm x 29.7 cm or 8.5 x 11 inches and should be labelled with the English idiom they illustrate as well as the first name and age of the artist on the back side.
  • All submissions must be accompanied by the school name, teacher’s name, school address and a contact e-mail address of the participating class.
  • All submissions must be received via post at the following address by midnight November 23rd, 2012: ProLexika e.K. / Kids’ English Idiom Art Contest, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 27, 04416 Markkleeberg, Germany.
  • E-mail entries, unfortunately, cannot be accepted.
  • Prizes will ONLY be paid in the form of Amazon gift certificates from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or the Amazon site in your country. The use of these gift certificates is at the sole discretion, responsibility and liability of the winning classes and their supervisors.
  • The illustrations will be judged on the basis of creativity, use of color and, of course, the work’s ability to illustrate the given English idiom. The winners will be announced on December 5th, 2012.
  • No purchase is required.
  • Illustrations will not be returned and become the property of ProLexika e.K and its blog.
  • Submission of entries indicates that you are in complete agreement with these contest rules.

Any further questions? Send an e-mail to info@prolexika.com. To see some great examples of what you can do when you combine
idioms and art, click here.

More interesting things for kids:

Idiom Quiz for Kids
Idiom Quiz: Animals
A Short Story with Idioms - for Kids
Ideas for Teachers: Creative Writing Exercises with English Idioms


Idiom Bulletin Board - Step by Step Instructions

Guest article by Lori Wolfe

Idioms for kids - lesson plans

This easy, fun and creative bulletin board makes you look like a pro as you develop student vocabulary and language skills. This bulletin board works great in a classroom or hallway for the whole school to be involved with. I wanted a way to involve my school in language development and used this idea. Follow these quick steps and you will be on your way!

4-5 idioms and simple definitions
Computer/word processor
Images to represent the idioms and the definitions
Construction paper
Scissors/paper cutter

Step 1:
Decorate the Bulletin Board with colored Butcher paper of your choice as a background. Use a contrasting borders that complements the color you chose.

Step 2:
Choose a theme for the idioms you will use. Some popular themes include:
Bees, horses, weather, dogs, tired.

Step 3:
Choose 4 idioms. Take care in choosing the idioms. Idioms for intermediate language level students should be idioms that give a hint to the meaning. An example of this is "it's raining cats and dogs". The word "raining" is a clue to the meaning. Early advanced language learners can work with idioms such as, "you're pulling my leg" which doesn't give the learner any clues to the meaning. Choose which language level you want the students to work with.

Step 4:
Collect 1 picture per idiom that displays what the words say and another picture that shows what the idiom means. Use your own classroom images for this or do a quick Google search for "idiom images".

Step 5:
Type up and print the idioms. Glue the typed idioms and the images onto colored construction paper. Cut to size.

Step 6:
Place the 4 idiom images that display what the words "say" at regular intervals across the top of the bulletin board.
Place the text under each picture.
At the bottom of the bulletin board place the image of what the idioms "mean" in random order.

Step 7:
Staple a piece of yarn under the text of each idiom long enough to reach to the image that shows the true meaning of the idiom. Tie a loop in the end of the piece of yarn so children can attach the yarn to the correct meaning.

Step 8:
Stick a pushpin into the bulletin board above the random images that shows the true meaning.
You now have an interactive bulletin board where students can match up the idiom to the image of its meaning by attaching the looped yarn to the push pin above the image of the true idiom meaning! Watch your students have fun and learn about idioms!

Lori Wolfe is an ESL - ELD teacher in Ashland, Oregon. Lori is also an author, ESL workshop presenter, and blogger. Her company, Fun To Teach produces innovative curriculum for ELD, ESL, grammar, Math, Reading, and more. Go to
http://goo.gl/OXVOG or stop by the Fun To Teach Blog for ESL ELD teachers: http://esleld.blogspot.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lori_Wolfe



Idioms for Kids

Raining cats and dogs

A good example of an English idiom is the phrase:

It’s raining cats and dogs.

Idioms like
its’s raining cats and dogs, which means it’s raining very hard, are phrases or sayings that have taken on special meanings over time - meanings that are often very different from the individual words that they contain. In fact, you often can’t even guess what the meanings of idioms are. This makes them challenging but also very interesting, fascinating and even fun to learn. Below, you will find a list of 5 English idioms for kids to look at and discuss:

1. a piece of cake

piece of cake

You use the English idiom a piece of cake to say that something is very easy. Here are two examples using this expression:
Spelling the word flower is a piece of cake.
However, spelling the word
chrysanthemum is not a piece of cake.
Is there something that you think is
a piece of cake? Playing soccer? Learning math?

2. as fresh as a daisy


When you are as fresh as a daisy, you are full of energy and enthusiasm. Here are two examples using this English idiom:
When Maida gets up in the morning, she is as fresh as a daisy.
Our English teacher is always
as fresh as a daisy.
Are you as fresh as a daisy when you get up in the morning? What about when you arrive at school?

3. man’s best friend

best friend

Man’s best friend is the dog. Here are two examples using this English expression:
Cats are nice, but I prefer man’s best friend.
Yesterday, Lena watched a film on
man’s best friend.
What kind of animal do you like best? Why do you think dogs are called man’s best friend?

4. the icing on the cake


The English idiom the icing on the cake is something that makes a good situation even better - just like how real icing makes a good cake taste even better! Here are two examples using this expression:
I like school, but learning math with Mr. Enkel is the icing on the cake.
I was happy to move to our neighborhood. Having a playground across the street was
the icing on the cake.
What could you describe as being
the icing on the cakeabout going to your school?

5. to have ants in your pants


If you have ants in your pants, you are not able to sit still because you are excited or worried about something. Here are two examples using this English idiom:
Donald had ants in pants because he knew that he had to make a presentation at school.
Hana had
ants in her pants because she couldn’t wait for the arrival of her grandma and grandpa.
Do people who are nervous or excited about something really look like they have ants in their pants?

Now, try this idiom QUIZ for kids!

See what kids can do when they combine English idioms and art in the following video on the Kids' English Idiom Art Contest 2012: