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.
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Ideas for Teachers: Creative Writing Exercises with English Idioms