Lesson Plan

Is it Raining Cats and Dogs or Idioms?

Students demonstrate an understanding of the difference in literal and figurative language by creating a comic strip about an Idiom.
Cameron M.
Technology coordinator
Hoover City Schools
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be able to...

Recognize idioms and understand what they represent.

Create a comic based on an idiom.

Compare figurative and literal meanings.

Learn about idioms from other countries and share them on a collaborative map.

English Language Arts
Grades 3 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 What is the meaning of this?

Direct students to the Read Write Think Idiom Activity.

Have students complete the activity. You might have them save each one as a PDF instead of printing. Another idea would be to group students and discuss the ideas.

Student Instructions

Visit the Read Write Think Idiom link and complete the activity.

You will complete either individually or with a partner depending on your instructions.

Print or save work.

2 Show What You Know

Create a class account on a Comic Creation site. You can create a free class account on Toon Doo.

Have students choose an Idiom to illustrate from the link above or a local source.

Students will create a 2 panel cartoon comparing the literal and figurative meaning of the chosen idiom.

Click here for a sample Idiom Comic Created in ToonDoo

An alternate idea would be to have students draw the cartoon on paper and take an image to send to a collaborative work space or blog. Google Blogs can be set up to email to the blog.

Pair students for reflection after activity is completed.

Decide how students will share their comic -either online or locally.

Combine idiom comics to make a class online book using the ToonBook feature or another resource.

Student Instructions

Visit your class account on Toon Doo.

Create a cartoon with 2 panels. Name the comic Idiom  by and your first name. The first panel should be an illustration of the literal meaning of the Idiom. The second panel illustrate the figurative meaning.

Save your work.

Click here for a sample Idiom Comic Created in ToonDoo

Share your idiom with your partner and offer suggestions and ideas for your partner's idiom.

3 Taking it Global - Idioms Around the World

Optional follow on activity:

Have students visit the TED Blog post regarding idioms from other countries. 

Create a collaborative Google Map so students can choose a country and make a placemark somewhere with information that includes the idiom from that area. Students may also illustrate it in Toondoo as they did previously.

Optional: Place the image of the comic into the interactive map either by taking a screenshot of it or using a link.

The resulting map will be a class map of Idioms around the world.

Student Instructions

Read the TedBlog post about Idioms around the world.

Choose an appropriate favorite and add a placemark to the class map where that idiom would be used. Write details about it in your place mark. You may also make a cartoon to illustrate it and provide a link to it or a screenshot of it in the map placemark. 


4 Going Deeper

Let students watch the TEDEd video as a class then complete the follow on activities.


Student Instructions

Watch the TED talk on idioms and participate in the class discussion and activities.