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Summer school lessons: even more idioms! Are you all ears? I'm not pulling your leg 😅

Updated: Jul 12, 2019

I am still at my lovely summer camp. I will be here for another 5 weeks so there are probably a couple more post coming your way. Somehow this year I am all about vocab lessons, which is unlike me cause I always base my lessons around a grammar point. Not this time ... again 😝

So I am still doing idioms. Why, you ask? Because it is really difficult to plan lessons on a summer camp. You don't know the kids, you have no idea what they're studying at school; they're from many different countries; and you have a week to teach them something new. Idioms are always a safe choice. They're not usually covered at schools and even if they are it doesn't happen a lot, especially with younger learners. So idioms it is! This time round, I gibe you idioms connected with body parts.

Like with the previous lesson, I based the materials on "Instant Lessons Advanced" from Penguin English. This is what we get in the book:

And this is how I jazzed it up 😅

(half of this picture is a different lesson which is not described in the post 😉)


I put the kids in pairs and gave each pair an envelope full of words on small pieces of paper. The pieces of paper were in various colours, laminated (so I can reuse them). The students task was to arrange the words into idioms. Now, they might have never heard most of them as far as I knew, so what I did was write all the words for each idiom on a different colour paper. This way they knew which words they were supposed to use and the task was more to use their general knowledge of English to assemble the words together so that they sound like they make sense.


After they've arranged the idioms and we read them out loud to check them, their next task was to find out what they mean. This we did as a dictation race. I have printed out all the definitions and put them on the notice board outside the classroom. I gave each pair of students a handout on which they had either the definition with the idiom missing, or the idiom but without the definition. One person from the pair had to run outside and read the definitions, remember them and come back to the classroom and dictate them to their partner. They had to fill in the whole handout this way.

Now what I really want to show you is how I've printed the definitions 😁

Oh yes! These are post-it notes. I leant this trick from What you do is you stick the posted notes on the paper and then load the paper to the printer. You prepare the document in such a way that it will print in the middle of the squares onto which you stick the posted notes. The first print out the squares only and stick post-it notes onto them.

It looks super cool and saves time putting them up cause you don't need pins or Blu-Tack.


Last activity of lesson one was Pictionary. An easy, well known idea, which worked brilliantly with this set of vocab. Drawing things like "to be down in the mouth" or "to bite your lip" is great fun and made everyone laugh.


This activity came in the next lesson. The book again offered some sentences to use as a conclusion to the whole lesson. The teacher reads them out and the students respond with the correct idiom that goes well with the sentence. So to make things more interesting I've printed out the sentences on coloured card and hid them around the classroom and outside. Also ... the sentences were printed backwards 😁 So not only did the students have to run around looking for the sentences (each group had a different colour card and they had to find only this specific colour) the also had to work out what the sentences actually say.

Once they worked out the sentence they had to arrange the idiom from the same little cards they were working with during the previous lesson (exercise 1). Once they thought they were done they could start looking for the next sentence.

So there you go. Another lesson which you can use with the kids during summer camp or, as I found out after writing the previous post, with managers 😅

In all the materials you'll find 23 idioms. The book offered 24 but one of them was the same idiom with two different definitions and one of those just didn't sit right with me. So to avoid the double meaning I chose (after a consultation with a native speaker) the one that made more sense.

Have fun creating,

Ewa :)

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