Idioms, Adages and Proverbs


The lesson distinguishes the differences between idioms, adages, and proverbs.  The students are familiar with many of them, but may not understand the nuances of each.  It is important to stress the differences, but also for students to recognize their meanings, especially because they are often used in reading material, media, and other places, both verbally and in writing.

Idioms, Adages, and Proverbs Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Idioms, Adages, and Proverbs
  • Hands-on homework activities practicing and identifying Idioms, Adages and Proverbs
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The Idioms, Adages and Proverbs lesson distinguishes the differences between these various types of phrases.  The lesson will help your students gain a better understanding of the subtleties and nuances of the English language.  Students have often heard these colloquial expressions but can benefit from learning their precise differences.  Since students likely hear these phrases in everyday usage, their linguistic and conversational skills will grow as they delve into this lesson. 

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:

  1. Display the proverbs or idioms prepared for the lesson opening.  Ask students if they have ever heard of them before.  Ask students what the circumstances were when they heard them.  Finally, ask if they know the meaning of each.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion.
  3. Introduce the students to the three terms.  Ask if they have ever heard the terms before.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. 
  5. Distribute Idioms, Adages, and Proverbs content pages.  Read and review the information with the students.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding and to access additional content.
  6. Distribute Activity page.  Read and review the instructions.  Create teams of 3 or 4 students.  Distribute the sets of adages and idioms for students to sue for the game.
  7. Determine the time for each round of the game.  Assign a timer for each group.  Stress for students to be fair and to follow all rules.  Students not part of a round must remain silent.
  8. After a predetermined amount of time, end the Charades Game and tell students to tally the total points. 
  9. Distribute Practice page.  Check and review the students’ responses.
  10. Distribute the Homework page.  The next day, allow students to display some of their pictures to the class. 

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5.B, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5.B, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Language Arts