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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






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A Short Story for Kids - A Lesson with English Idioms

After having done the recent Idiom Quiz for Kids, your students might be interested in doing the follow-up exercise below to test their ability to recognize what an English idiom is as well as the specific English idioms that they have learned.

Here is a short story for students to read. Feel free to make photocopies. You can do many things with this text including asking your students to identify the English idioms that they see, write them down, help you understand the text, etc...


Lesson plans idioms


The Eager Beavers and Mr. Oldkool

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful class of very hard-working and well-educated boys and girls in an amazing school in a far, far, far away fairytale land. Definitely not couch potatoes, these boys and girls were, in fact, full of beans. Their teacher, Mr. Oldkool, admired them, however, for their hard work and often called them his eager beavers. The eager beavers loved to learn. They spelled, they read and they wrote. They added, they subtracted and they multiplied. When Mr. Oldkool told them about a new and fascinating subject, like the apple snail, they were all ears. When he gave them assignments to do, they took them home eagerly and were as busy as bees. One day, Mr. Oldkool surprised the eager beavers with a math test. It was 10 pages long and had the most difficult questions on it that you could imagine. He handed out the test papers and told the boys and girls to put their thinking caps on. Break a leg he said to the students as he walked back to his desk and started working on another lesson plan on the fascinating world of the apple snail. Looking at the math tests, the children’s faces, surprisingly, did not look troubled. Remaining cool as a cucumber, they picked up their pencils and went to work. It turned out that all of the eager beavers passed the test and, for some, it was even a piece of cake. To celebrate, the kids got to watch a two-hour movie on the apple snail as an aquarium pet. Who would have thought that their hard work would pay off so well and that apple snails could be as big as 15 cm in diameter? The answer to that question would have to be: Mr. Oldkool.


To view the English idioms that appear in The Eager Beavers and Mr. Oldkool, click here.

© 2012 ProLexika e.K. All rights reserved.

Ideas for Teachers: Creative Writing Exercises with English Idioms







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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


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Idiom Quiz for Kids

Idiom Quiz for Kids

Are you looking to offer your students some fun with English idioms? Test their knowledge with this quiz:

1. Your teacher thinks that you and your classmates are
full of beans. What does she mean?

a) you are full of energy and enthusiasm
b) you are not working hard enough
c) you have had a big lunch - yes, lots of beans!
d) you are very clever

2. If you are
actively involved in an activity at school, your teacher might say that you are...

a) as busy as a fly
b) as busy as a spider
c) as busy as a bee
d) as busy as a grasshopper

3. Students who
are all ears....

a) have big ears
b) love q-tips
c) are listening carefully
d) are dreaming

4. To wish you good luck before performing in your school play, your teacher tells you to...

a) break an arm
b) break an ankle
c) break a shoulder
d9 break a leg

5. What or who is a
couch potato?

a) a variety of potato
b) a piece of furniture
c) another word for
onion
d) someone who is lazy







6. For years, people have been telling you to use
the magic word. What exactly is that word?

a) sorry
b) yes
c) please
d) chinchilla


7. If a friend of yours says that you are
cool as a cucumber, he is saying that you are...

a) calm
b) cold
c) unfriendly
d) a fruit (or vegetable?)

8. When a friend
crosses her fingers for you, she ...

a) hopes that things will turn out just as you hope they will
b) is wishing you bad luck
c) hopes that you will go away
d) is not telling the truth

9. When your teacher tells you to
put your thinking cap on, he is telling you...

a) to put a hat on - it’s cold outside!
b) to brush your hair
c) to concentrate and think about something
d) to work harder

10. If someone says
All that glitters is not gold, he means...

a) money is not everything
b) not everything that looks good really is good
c) be happy with what you have
d) gold is not beautiful


Find the
answers here.
Find a great
follow-up exercise here.
More Idiom Quizzes:
Animal Idiom Quiz



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










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