Idioms Until the Cows Come Home

There are more sites to learn idioms that you could shake a stick at. Finding a good one, however, can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  During the past few days I have been searching for the best ones to share with my group of Early Advanced ELD students who still can’t seem to make heads or tails out of some pretty basic idioms– idioms that for an native speaker are easy as pie to understand.  BrainPOP has by far one of the best lessons on this, except you need an account. Actually you just need a user name and a password, which is easy as pie track down if you know how to use Google. Oops, I guess that let the cat out of the bag, however ZapaTECHISTA does not officially condone nor promote the use of such illegitimate passwords that some districts are careless enough to post on public websites, and can therefore give access to the great content that BrainPOP and BrainPOP ESL  provides without having to pay the piper.

Enough beating around the bush. Here is a list of the best ones, and some decent runners-up.

Idiom site:  A bare bones list of idioms with definitions. Alphabetized for convenience- Not the holy grail, but not too shabby either. has a few line-match games based on idioms. They have a lot of good vocab games as well. Look under the game for more  games. Kids will enjoy checking their guesses at the end. is another no-frills site, that includes “3,498 English idiomatic expressions with definitions” and counting. Not the prettiest site, but impressive in its breadth and scope.

The Idiom connection: These guys put together another impressive list, with quizzes, and categorized by topic. They also put together a list of the 100 most commonly used idioms in the English language.

Read-Write-Think has a decent page on idioms, and while it is limited to a few, it is more interactive in that it asks students to type out the metaphorical meaning, and then use them in a sentence.

The Children’s University of Manchester idioms page is a flash based lesson/game  based on a few color idioms.  Highly recommended along with the rest of their content. If you don’t live in the UK you might find yourself doing some learning as well, as a few of the idioms are particularly “English”.

Idioms Bite the Dust: A PowerPoint – centered site with some good lesson ideas and worksheets.

Quia: not usually the best site, but this Jeopardy-style game actually asks you to submit a guess without the multiple choices.


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