Lesson plans to teach idioms: Five Fun and Free Lesson Plans

As an ESL teacher, idioms are one of my favorite things to teach. To truly understand a language, we have to understand more than just basic grammar conjugations –  we have to know slang, jokes, idioms and the many other things that make a language unique. Today I’ll talk about 5 fun lesson plans to teach idioms to your ESL students. 

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a unique saying or phrase made up of words that, when combined, take on a whole new meaning than the individual words within the phrase. Idioms are common and students hear them every day, but they might not understand what they mean. They are tricky but important to teach to new English learners, especially as their listening and speaking skills improve.

Lesson plans to teach idioms – the fun way!

Off2Class has developed 30- ready-to-teach lesson plans that are entirely dedicated to idioms. Who would have thought there were that many idioms to learn? Here we have 5 of our most popular lesson plans on idioms.

Idioms describing people: This lesson plan focuses on common idioms we use to describe people, including black sheep and gold digger

Lesson plans to teach idioms

Download the lesson plan here:

Idioms describing love: If your student is asked to go on a blind date, do you think they’ll know what it means? Maybe not, so use this lesson to teach them about idioms describing love. 

Lesson plans to teach idioms

Download the lesson plan here:

Idioms describing food and eating: This lesson teaches idioms like eat like a bird and dig in. Most students love food, so they’ll love this lesson on idioms describing food and eating. 

Lesson plans to teach idioms

Download the lesson plan here:

Idioms that use animal vocabulary: Animal idioms are tricky. Your student probably feels like a fish out of water, so kill two birds with one stone and teach them about animal idioms in their English class! 

Lesson plans to teach idioms

Download the lesson plan here.

Idioms that use anatomy vocabulary: Imagine being a new English learner and being told to break a leg or pick his brain. Idioms that use anatomy can be weird and downright scary, so this lesson is a must for your ESL students.

Lesson plans to teach idioms

Download the lesson plan here:

Wait! There’s more…

Students love learning about idioms and how to use them. You can use these teacher-led lessons to teach idioms and your students are guaranteed to leave class feeling more fluent than before. Don’t forget to sign up for your free Off2Class account to access the teacher notes and homework assignments. While you’re at it, check out the Lesson Library. All of Off2Class’s lesson plans are ready to teach, with added explanations and follow-up questions so that teaching English has never been easier!

If you found these lessons helpful, share them, and comment below. We love to hear questions and ideas from teachers like you!


  • Harry Essang says:

    December 17, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you so much for these lessons. We are truly blessed having them

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      December 18, 2020 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Harry! Which lesson do you like the best out of the different Idioms lesson plans here?

  • Alannak Zohra says:

    June 9, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for your outstanding information.

  • Karolina says:

    April 30, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you so much for the lesson plan l ve been looking for !
    My students enjoyed every minute of the lesson.

    • Christine Chan says:

      May 4, 2023 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks, Karolina — we’re so glad you’re enjoying the lesson plans!

  • Erika Stander says:

    July 12, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Wow, these lessons are amazing. Thank you.

    • Christine Chan says:

      July 13, 2023 at 10:06 am

      Thanks Erika, so glad you’re enjoying these lessons!

  • Julie says:

    October 24, 2023 at 1:22 am

    Thank you so much for these wonderful lessons you shared. Looking forward to see more on your works.

    • Christine Chan says:

      October 26, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks Julie, we’re so glad you’re enjoying the lesson plans!

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