Subject: ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 40 min

Topic: Literary Devices - Idioms

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Objective: Explanation

Language Objective:

Distinguish between literal and figurative language

Brief Description: Students will recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms.

Know Before You Start:

  • Students should have exposure to idioms before starting this lesson.
  • Creating a list of common idioms to display will help students complete this activity.

Idioms - Exemplar comic, panel 1


  • Display examples of idioms such as the one in the comic above.
  • Explain that the term “idiom” relates to a word or phrase that means something different from its literal meaning.

Activity: Have the students select an idiom of their choice and create a comic that demonstrates knowledge of its meaning.

Closure: Have students share their comic with a partner or whole group.


  • Allow students to work in pairs
  • Provide sentence stems for students to use in their writing
  • Provide the opportunity to role play the comics
  • Provide definitions with idioms


  • Adapt this lesson for any literary device that your class is currently working on mastering.

  • Suggested Reading: In A Pickle: And Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban

  • Example comic to print or display: Comic

Suggested Content Pack(s):