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Winning Lesson Plan
It's Raining Cats and Dogs

Subject: Language Arts
Grade: 3-5

Brief Description

This lesson plan teaches idioms (figurative language) in a creative, fun way.


The learner will identify idioms as groups of words with special meanings that paint a mental picture for the reader.


The learner will be able to identify figurative language in reading and apply it to his or her own writing.

Materials Needed

Idioms written on slips of paper (see samples below), a container for the written idioms, drawing paper, markers or crayons

Lesson Plan

Discuss with students the meanings of familiar idioms. Then arrange the class into four teams. Ask each team to pick a written idiom from the idiom container and create a picture representing the literal meaning of the idiom. (For example: If the idiom is "foot the bill," students might draw a picture of a foot with a dollar bill or a duck's bill on it.) Then have each team show its picture to the other teams. The team that identifies the idiom first scores 5 points. The team scoring the most points wins.

Sample Idioms

  • hit the books
  • make a beeline
  • got a tiger by the tail
  • a frog in the throat
  • pie in the sky
  • bat in the belfry
  • blow his or her stack
  • hit the nail on the head
  • go fly a kite
  • have a green thumb
  • pull a leg
  • eager beaver
  • stick in the mud
  • have a ball
  • raining cats and dogs
  • make a mountain out of a molehill
  • have something up the sleeve
  • pull the wool over someone's eyes
  • walls have ears
  • lose one's marbles


After students have played the game, quiz them on their understanding of the meanings and uses of idioms.

Lesson Plan Source

Jacqueline C. Miller, ([email protected]) Churchland Academy Elementary, Portsmouth, Va.

As our highlighted lesson, the submitter was awarded a $50 honorarium. See our guidelines to submit yours!


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