6/25/2010

Idioms

Idioms are so hard for children with language disorders. This is because these children think of words in a very concrete and literal way. If you say "Go take a hike!" they might think that you want them to go grab their hiking boots and walking stick and head on out for a good nature stroll. Our world is full of these crazy confusing phrases that don't really make any sense but everyone seems to understand anyway. It's a dog-eat-dog world for these kids! Read more of this post for some simple therapy ideas and great resources for teaching idioms.

You can see why they get confused, just try to think they way they do....
"Who let the cat out of the bag?".......What cat?
"Let's play it by ear.".....uh, ok...what?
"That's a can of worms".....sick! what are you talking about?
"Eyes on the board!"......How the heck am I supposed to put my eye balls on that chalkboard and stay in my seat at the same time"
"knock your socks off"....that's gotta be tricky
"it's all right I guess"....sweet! I got them ALL right!

Describing that the words people say are different than the meaning of the phrase is a difficult task. One therapist in our school district introduced the idea of a word bubble versus a thought bubble. It is a good way to help the kids visualize that what they said might be different than what they meant.
Picture given to me by Mandolyn, who is a fabulous clinician and I want to be as good as her someday. She also suggested some awesome books by Tedd Arnold for teaching Idioms. These books are so cute and fun with great illustrations.

Here are the links to Tedd Arnold's fabulous books.

Here are some good idiom websites to check out.

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