Lesson plan

Valentine's Day Idioms

To make a long story short, idioms are a fun addition to the English language! Use this lesson with your students to determine the meaning of common idioms— specifically those associated with Valentine's Day.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to explain the meaning of common idioms.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students a series of questions to see if they know the answers:
    • If something costs an arm and a leg, what does that mean? (Answer: It means something is expensive.)
    • What does it mean when I say that I have the best of both worlds? (Answer: It means I have all the advantages or all the good things.)
    • If I’m feeling a bit under the weather, how am I feeling? (Answer: It means I'm feeling slightly ill.)
    • If something happens once in a blue moon, what does that mean? (Answer: It means it happens once in a while, or it is not a normal occurrence.)
  • Explain to students that you just quizzed them on some of the most common idioms. Today they will learn about more common idioms and their meanings.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that an IdiomIs a phrase or expression that has a different meaning than the literal meaning of the words.
  • Differentiate between Literal, the usual meaning, and Nonliteral, not the usual meaning.
  • Clarify that when we talk about figurative language, we are talking about nonliteral meanings of words.
  • Display a list of common idioms, and draw a picture of the literal meaning of the words and the nonliteral meaning of the words.
  • Point out that the nonliteral meaning of the word is the idiom.
  • Remind students that an idiom is an expression, but the words can not be taken literally.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the pre-prepared boxes from the What is an Idiom? worksheets. Each student should receive one blank box with an idiom in it.
  • Instruct them to put their names on the back.
  • Give students four minutes to independently draw a picture to accompany the idiom.
  • Instruct students to discuss their drawings in small groups and see if they can agree on a meaning for each of the idioms. Give the groups four minutes to discuss.
  • Gather the class back together to confirm the actual meanings of each of the three idioms students worked with.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute a copy of the Valentine’s Day Words worksheet to each student.
  • Instruct students to complete the worksheet.
  • Give students time to complete the worksheet.
  • Circulate and monitor the students as they work, checking in with struggling students.
  • Review answers together.


  • Offer struggling students the opportunity to get more practise on idioms with the Idioms 1 exercise.
  • To support students, give more context around the idioms so they have more clues to choose from.


  • Instruct advanced students to research common idioms and then write a short story using at least five idioms.
(2 minutes)
  • Instruct students to take out their whiteboard and whiteboard markers.
  • Direct students to draw a line down the middle of the whiteboard.
  • Give students the idiom “make one’s heart leap” (to suddenly excite) from the independent practise worksheet. On the left side, they will draw the literal meaning of the idiom. On the right side, they will draw the nonliteral, or figurative, meaning of the idiom.
  • Circulate the room to observe students' illustrations that depict the literal and nonliteral meaning of the idiom.
(3 minutes)
  • Show the Idioms Song on Youtube to review the definition of an idiom, as well as examples of common idioms students may hear in their everyday lives.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection