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