Lesson 3 – Expressive Writing (Part 1)By admin On November 17, 2011 Under Creative Writing
Teachers’s Guide to Creative Writing Lesson 3
Topic: Expressive Writing (Part 1)
- To help students write expressively
- Understanding about Expressive writing and how to use Idioms, Phrases, Proverbs and Similes
An Idiom is a figurative expression, which is used in writing and in speech. It is an expression where the meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up.
Blind leading the blind – someone who does not understand something himself but tries to explain it to others.
Explain to your students this Idiom in this manner:
Tell them to imagine a blind person. Hence he or she is unable to see anything yet tries to show another person something that they themselves are unable to see, or perhaps to direct another person home when they themselves are unable to direct themselves home.
When you explain to students in this manner, they are then able to see why such comparisons are used. However, make sure that they understand that this Idiom has nothing to do with blind people literally. It is only used as a means of comparison to help them understand what this Idiom truly means.
3. Students need to understand that Idioms do not necessarily mean exactly as the words state, however, they try to explain something indirectly.
4. When you give your students more Idioms, explain to them in this same manner for easy understanding.
5. After you have explained a few Idioms to your students, allow them to explain some Idioms to you either through verbal explanation or in a drawing. For the Idiom, ‘Blind leading the blind’, for example, they may draw either two blind people trying to show something to each other. Then ask your students to explain what they have drawn. In this case, they would have drawn two blind people because the Idiom states such. However, after they have drawn the Idiom out literally, they would then have to explain what they have drawn and then explain what it indirectly means. Hence, they would have to do three things:
- Draw it literally as the Idiom says
- Explain what they have literally drawn
- Explain what the Idiom means indirectly.
Note: If some students are unable to draw, you may ask them then to simply explain the Idiom literally, like you have done earlier, and then explain what it indirectly means.
6. Here are a few Idioms for you to practice with your students. (You may explain a few of them first and when you are satisfied that they have understood what Idioms are, you may then explain to them what you want them to do).
Bull in a china shop – Someone who is clumsy and upset other people’s plans.
Burn the candle at both ends – Work or play too hard without enough rest.
Burn the midnight oil – Study until every late at night.
Bury one’s head in the sand – Refuse to see or face something unpleasant.
Bury the hatchet – Stop quarrelling and become friendly with someone
Butter someone up – Flatter someone
Card up one’s sleeve – A plan or argument kept back to be produced if needed.
Castles in the air – Day dreams
Cast pearls before swine – Waste something valuable on someone who does not appreciate it.
Cast the first stone – Be the first to blame someone.
Cat gets one’s tongue – Cannot talk.
Catch on – Understand or learn about.
Change horses in midstream - Make new plans or choose a new leader in the middle of an important activity.
Change of heart – Change the way one feels about something.
Change one’s mind – Change one’s decision.
Clip someone’s wings – Limit one’s activities or possibilities
Coast is clear – No danger is in sight.
Cover one’s track – Hide or not say where one has been or what one has done.
Crack the whip – Try to make someone work hard or obey you by threatening them.
Cry over spilt milk – Cry or complain about something that has already happened.
Cry wolf – Warn of danger that is not there.
Curiosity killed the cat – Being too nosy and interested in other people’s business may lead a person into trouble.
Dead duck – A person or thing in a hopeless situation.
Dig in – Begin eating.
Horse of a different color – Something totally separate and different.
In the doghouse – In disgrace.
Lead a dog’s life – Work hard and be treated unkindly.
Let sleeping dogs lie – Do not make trouble if you do not have to.
Let the cat out of the bag – Tell something that is supposed to be a secret.
Look like the cat that swallowed a canary – Look very self-satisfied, look as if one just had a great success.
Make a mountain out of a molehill – Make something that is unimportant seem important.
Monkey business – Unethical or bad activity, mischief.
Play cat and mouse with someone – Tease or fool someone.
Put the cart before the horse – Do things in the wrong order.
(Note: The above Idioms are merely a few; you may choose to find more idioms of your own for your students or you may encourage your students to find more idioms on their own.
7. After your students have clearly understood what idioms are and you are satisfied with their participation in the game, you may then teach them how to use these idioms in sentences.
Using Idioms in compositions add spice to the writing piece. This is one good form of improving self-expression.
Using Idioms in sentences can sometimes be a little confusing. You must remember to change tenses if needs be to suit the construction of your sentence.
Also, when the Idiom has the word ‘one’ or ‘someone’, you must remember to change those words to either a person’s name or a pronoun.
Cook one’s goose
- Cook her goose
- Cooking her goose
- Cooked her goose
Rain cats and dogs
- Raining cats and dogs
- Rained cats and dogs
8. After your students have understood how to construct sentences using Idioms, you may give them a few Idioms to practice writing sentences for.
Here are a few Idioms for you to help your students get started.
(You may choose to find more idioms of your own for your students or you may encourage your students to find more idioms on their own)
Beat someone to the punch – do something before others
According to Hoyle – strictly by the rules
Add up – seem consistent or reasonable
Ahead of time – early
All ears – eager to listen to someone
All thumbs – clumsy
An arm and a leg – a large amount of money
Apple of one’s eye – one’s favourite
Asleep at the switch – not alert to an opportunity
At fault – be the one responsible or be the one to be blamed for something
At loggerheads – having a quarrel
At someone’s beck and call - always ready to serve somebody
At the end of one’s rope – at the limit of one’s ability to cope
Back on one’s feet – return to good financial or physical health
At odds – in disagreement
Bail someone out – help or rescue
Bark is worse than one’s bite – someone is not as bad as they sound
Behind one’s back – without someone’s knowledge
Back out – withdraw from an agreement or promise
Back to the drawing board – go back to start a project or idea from the beginning
Bark up the wrong tree – make a wrong assumption about something
Beat around the bush – speak indirectly
Bank on – depend on
Bee in one’s bonnet – have an idea that continually occupies one’s thoughts
Bite off more than one can chew – try to do more than one is able to do
Blow one’s own horn – praise oneself
Blue in the face – extremely exhausted
Bite the bullet – face a difficult situation bravely
Bite the hand that feeds one – turn against a friend or supporter; repay kindness with wrong
Blow over – calm down
Blow it – fail at something
Break the news – tell some information first
Break the ice – relax and start a new conversation in a formal situation
Bring to mind – recall something
Bring the house down – cause much laughter in the audience
Dime a dozen – easy to get and of little value
Do a double take – look again in surprise at someone or something
Do away with – put an end to, stop, get rid of
Feel like a million dollars – feel wonderful
Food for thought – something worth thinking about
9. To make your lesson more enjoyable, you may give your students a project to do. The project would be to find as many idioms as they possibly can or a limit of 10 idioms, and compile them into a booklet, with drawings, to illustrate each idiom.
10. After teaching Idioms to your students, you may then proceed towards teaching Similes and Proverbs. How intense or thorough the teaching of these two topics would depend solely on you.
11.Teach these two topics in the same manner as you did for the topic on Idioms
- Explain the Similes and Proverbs through drawings (Optional)
- Sentence Construction
12. Here are a few Similes and Proverbs to help get your students started.
(You may choose to find more Similes and Proverbs of your own for your students or you may encourage your students to find more Similes and Proverbs on their own)
A Simile is a figure of speech that shows a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)
Similes compare things that are alike in some respect although they may be different in their general nature.
as agile as a monkey as black as coal
as blind as a bat as brave as a lion
as bright as a lark as brittle as glass
as busy as a bee as clear as crystal
as cold as ice as cool as cucumber
as dead as a doornail as deaf as post
as dry as a bone as easy as ABC
as faithful as a dog as fat as a pig
as fickle as the weather as flat as a pancake
as good as gold as graceful as a swan
as green as grass as hairy as a gorilla
as hard as iron as heavy as an elephant
as hot as fire as hungry as a wolf
as light as a feather as loud as thunder
A proverb is a short well-known saying.
A stitch in time saves nine – a quick action prevents further problems
Charity begins as home – do good deeds in your own home first
Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it – don’t worry about a problem until it actually comes
Empty vessels make the most noise – foolish people talk too much
Behind every cloud there is a silver lining – something good comes out of every problem.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained – there is no profit without risk
Pride goes before a fall – a proud person may bring misfortune upon himself
Rome was not built in a day – a big task needs time and patience to be brought to completion
There’s many a slip between cup and lip – nothing is certain until it is achieved
Out of the frying pan into the fire – to go from one problem to another
End of Lesson.
Please take note that if this lesson has to be repeated again on another day or continued for whatever reason, it is with the discretion of the teacher.