Idioms and jargons are used everyday in our lives. We know that for our EL Learners and a lot of students in our classes, idioms and jargon can be difficult. As a literary device, idioms are extremely effective and add to “style” of writing. Idioms are colourful, personal and vivid. I could describe our WWP project as an effective or as a well oiled machine. In order to have students use and understand we need to explore idioms for all our learners.
Exploring the literal meaning of an idioms is fun and allows students to be creative with pen and pencil, or specifically with an app (Pic Collage, Explain Everything, Drawing Box etc) .
Years ago, students and I watched a funny podcasts from Animal Planet called Animal Crackers. In this podcast actors portrayed two fictional and one historical story of where specific idioms originated.
Students can create a variety of projects using Stop Motion, but using it to illustrate their poetry, can allow to students demonstrate their own perspective through visuals. Creating an audio bite and back drops can established the mood of the poem.
Poems which contrast things are most effective. Also Poems which have action words can be used.
Some Suggestion of Poems:
Haiku, Tanka, Cinquain, Quinzaine, Diamante or Contrast
Have you ever considered having students create newspaper stories or articles? Or even full newspapers?
Students will learn to choose descriptive concise language when writing an article.
Keep these in mind:
Start with a lead which captures the audience
Give important details and facts (who, what, where, when, why and how) which are necessary components of an article
Follow up by talking more about the main facts
Try to remain unbiased
Write a conclusion which restates the important facts
Use pictures and captions
The basics of an news article can be taught by having students create bogus stories. One of my favourite examples of a creative writing activity is to have students find a picture and create a headline and article which misleads the reader.
Comics are very powerful pieces of writing. Students enjoy reading and creating comics. Two apps on the iPad,, Comic Life and BookCreator, allow students to create their own comics.
One of the best ways to engage your students in a story writing dialogue activity, is to use Comics. What better way is there to show how writing dialogue needs to appropriate, clear and effective? If their characters’ dialogue does not drive the plot, then the audience cannot follow their story.
Students can use Comic Life or BookCreator to display their understanding of any topic in their non-fiction writing:
Autobiographies or Biographies
Comic Life and BookCreator have many unique comic features and the purpose for using these features needs to be explained to students.
Panels and Pages
a panel is like a paragraph, with one main idea
size of panel shows time and importance
we read panels left to right, top to bottom
shows us setting
Characters and important objects
carries the narrative of the story
tells us about setting
explains what happens between panels
Speech and Thought Bubble
displays characteristic of characters
Is often the core text feature, giving the most information
You can also have students explore App Smashingby:
Adding themselves as characters on a background in PicCollage
In Drawing Box, create their own drawings and add to their comic