This is an activity to teach some common idioms and expressions related to food.
You will need the handout below, which contains photos of various food items.
food idioms pics
You will also need this quizlet set:
- Divide the class into pairs or teams of 3.
- Give each team a set of the 10 food pictures.
- Project the quizlet set onto the board.
- Give students a few seconds to decide which food item completes the expression, then countdown from 3 to 0 on zero all the groups hold up the card they think completes the sentence (this way they can’t copy each other) award 1 point to each team that guesses correctly.
- Award extra points for teams that can correctly define the expression.
- Winning team is the one with the most points.
- Then challenge students to write a story containing as many of the idioms as possible in 5 minutes.
A piece of cake – very easy
A couch potato – a lazy person who watches too much tv
The apple never falls far from the tree – like father/mother like son/daughter
To bring home the bacon – support a family financially
….is not my cup of tea – not my thing/something I like
Salt of the Earth – a genuine, charitable, down-to-earth person
As cool as a cucumber – very calm and relaxed
Spill the beans – reveal a secret/sensitive information
There’s no point crying over spilt milk – a problem has happened and there’s nothing you can do, so don’t worry
To butter somebody up – to compliment/treat someone nicely in order to get something
I just came across this amazing set of short video clips which illustrate English idioms literally. Show the first, acted out section students have to guess the idiom, then they have to deduce the meaning.
Update: Pearson have moved their content but you can now find the videos on youtube:
Here’s a little gap fill and conversation exercise I’ve made for the first 6 idioms:
This is a short activity in which students learn some expressions about family and use them in a short discussion.
Have students try to complete the expresions below in pairs.
Complete the expressions:
- A family t_______
- B______ is thicker than w________
- L______ father l_______ son
- To take a_______ somebody (to inherit characteristics from a parent)
- Like two p_____ in a p______ (very similar)
- Like c_______ and c_______ (very different)
- Go to a family g_____ – t________ / g_________
- A father f__________
- blood, water
- like, like
- peas, pod
- chalk, cheese
- get-together / gathering
Go through the expressions as a class, then but students in small groups to discuss the following discussion questions:
- Does your family have a family tree? Have you ever looked at it? Do you know your family’s origins? Do you have any famous ancestors?
- Do you agree that blood is thicker than water? How important is family to you? How important is family in your country? Do you think it’s more important than in other countries?
- Who do you take after? Your mother or father? In appearance? Personality? Are there any specific hereditary characteristics in your family?
- Do you have any family members or friends who are like two peas in a pod? Or any who are like chalk and cheese?
- How often do you go to family get-togethers / gatherings? When was the last time? Do you enjoy them? Do you have any annoying relatives?
- How important is it for a child to have a father figure? Or a mother figure? How do you think a lack of either can affect children?