What is an Idiom?

What is an Idiom?
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English9th Grade

This lesson contains 27 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 4 videos.

Items in this lesson

What is an Idiom?

Slide 1 - Slide

Before we begin, let's take a quick poll.
Who knows what an idiom is or has heard of idioms before?
Use zoom reactions and use the          for yes or the        for no

Slide 2 - Slide

What is your favorite saying or phrase?

Slide 3 - Open question

Let's Begin With a Definition

Your textbook defines idioms as "...informal expressions in which the literal meanings of the words do not add up to the actual meaning" (108).

Slide 4 - Slide

What Does This Mean?
Idioms are figures of speech! This means that:
  • We don't take idioms literally
  • Their meanings depend on what someone is trying to express
  • It is informal and relaxed language (conversational)

Slide 5 - Slide

Why Do We Use Idioms?
We use idioms to
  • emphasize or exaggerate a thought or feeling
  • show we "fit in" with a certain group of people
  • have casual and informal  conversations

Slide 6 - Slide

What Do Idioms Look Like?

Slide 7 - Slide

How to Identify Idioms
Often, idioms are only familiar if we've heard and used them before. But, we can always use context!

Idiom: "snug as a bug in a rug"

In context: Her blanket was so fluffy that she was as snug as a bug in a rug.

Slide 8 - Slide

Based on the context in the previous sentence, what does "snug as a bug in a rug" mean?

Slide 9 - Open question

Idioms are NOT Universal
Idioms are different for everyone! Idioms we use can be based on
  • how old we are 
  • what languages we speak
  • where we live 
  • who we hang out  with 

Slide 10 - Slide

Idioms Around the World 

Slide 11 - Slide

Idioms in Spanish 

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Slide 13 - Video

Idioms in Armenian

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Slide 15 - Video

Idioms in Tagalog 

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Slide 17 - Video

Idioms in Gen Z

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Slide 19 - Video

Let's Practice 
You will be given 4 idioms. Based on the context, pick which definition you think best defines the idiom.

Slide 20 - Slide

It was raining cats and dogs outside, so I wore my rain boots and packed an umbrella. "Raining cats and dogs" means:
It was barely raining
It was raining heavily
Dogs and cats were actually falling from the sky
None of the above

Slide 21 - Quiz

I was feeling under the weather when I woke up with a stuffy nose and cough. "Under the weather" mean:
I felt good
I was sitting under a rain cloud
I felt sick
None of the above

Slide 22 - Quiz

I was on the fence about whether or not I should adopt a puppy this year. "On the fence" means
unconfident in a decision
confident in a decision
sitting on top of a fence
None of the above

Slide 23 - Quiz

Jim and Jane had over 200 guests at their wedding when they tied the knot. "Tied the knot" means:
Tied knots with rope
Tied their shoes
Got married
None of the above

Slide 24 - Quiz

Can you think of an idiom to share with the class? Think about idioms in other languages you speak, idioms you use with your friends, or that you hear around the house. Please include what your idiom means with your answer.

Slide 25 - Open question

Check-In (Anonymous)
At this point, how do you feel about idioms compared to the beginning of the lesson? Use the zoom chat to indicate where you are.
  • Type a 1 if you don't quite get idioms just yet
  • Type a 2 if you're somewhere in the middle and need a little more practice
  • Type a 3 if you feel confident that you understand idioms

Slide 26 - Slide

Let's Consider
Think about the question "What does it mean to be American?"
  • How does language play a role in American voices and culture?
  • What role might idioms play in assimilation?
  • Consider these questions as we read the poem "Immigrant Picnic" 
  • Look for idioms, how they are being used, and what they contribute to the meaning of the poem!

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