Getting to Grips With Figurative Language

Mrs S spends some time reading to us each Monday. The story we are listening to at the moment is The Phantom Tollbooth. It was written in 1961 by Norton Juster. We have been following the adventures of Milo as he set off on his travels in The Lands Beyond.

The auhor uses figurative language devices throughout the story. We watched a podcast that introduced us to the idea that figurative language helps an author to add interest to their story or song. An author does not use the literal or everyday meaning of the words when using similes, metaphors or idioms in their story.

Today we explored only one form of figurative language. We chose to look closely at idioms.

Doing a google define search gives us this definition.

Doing a google define search gives us this definition.

We used some links from our class intranet to find and explore some idioms. When we were reading these it was quite funny to picture the literal meaning in our heads while we puzzled out the figurative meaning. One of our class suggested that we needed to infer the everyday meaning when reading or hearing an idiom. For example when we hear the sentence “She spilled the beans” it does not really mean that a tin of beans has been upended. In everyday conversation we know that this mean that “She talked too much and shared the secret”.

We then chose one of our collected idioms to illustrate with the literal meaning. We then used the idiom in a sentence to show its figurative meaning. We could choose to make an ArtRage drawing, draw on a piece of paper, or create an animation to create our final ideas about idioms. We shared our work on a Padlet wall.

We also had some fun visiting another class blog, Miss Jordan’s class @ Barwon Heads Primary, where they had also been exploring idioms. They had some great drawings which challenged us to work out the idiom from the inferred and literal meanings of some idioms. There were a couple that stumped us! Whoops –  there I go using some figurative language. What does “stumped us” really mean?

Can you share some idioms with us? You could double click on the Padlet and add some more idioms to our wall. Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Read 9 comments

  1. I wish I could be a ‘fly on the wall’ in your classroom! Instead I must ‘keep my ear to the ground’ if I wish to ‘get down to brass tacks’ (get the facts). If I ask Django, he might send me on a ‘wild goose chase’. Don’t worry, I’m only ‘pulling your leg’!

    • Thank you very much for visiting our class blog and leaving a great comment.

      That is an idiom packed paragraph!

      Idioms have found their way into lots of our everyday conversations and it has been very interesting to see our class noticing these more since creating our Padlet wall about idioms.

      Mrs S

  2. Hi Mrs Smith and fellow bloggers,

    I really enjoyed playing around with idioms. I thought it was really fun finding a idiom to work with. Hugo and I found the idiom dropping like flies to work with.

    From Sam

    • Thanks for leaving a comment on our post, Sam.

      Your image representing “dropping like flies” looks great on our padlet wall. What was the most difficult thing about creating your contribution to our wall?

      After working with idioms for the day did you notice them more when people were talking?

      Mrs S

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