Subject: ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 40 mins

Topic: Literary Devices - Idioms

Grade Level: 4, 5

Standards / Framework:

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.


  • 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 which 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.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.
  • 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

Suggested Story Starters: