Idioms: You’re an Idiom

Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this lesson, students will use research skills to write about the origin and meaning of an idiom, create a humorous visual representation of it with a 3Doodler, then animate and publish it to share.

Note: Any links outside of the3doodler.com are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Lesson Plan


Step 1

Project your computer or tablet screen.

Step 2

As a whole group: Discuss various idioms and their meanings. See Idiom List in Resources.

Step 3

Share sites for researching idioms. See Resources for examples.

Step 4

Share the list of Idioms from the Appendix. Note how doodled objects based on idioms take on different meanings, as in "spring chicken" and "soap opera."

Step 5

Demonstrate how to research the origin of an idiom on the Google search engine. In the search box type in the idiom phrase followed by the words "idiom" and "origin." e.g., bad apple idiom origin.

Step 6

Demonstrate how to use a selected idiom in a sentence, e.g., "My grandmother is no spring chicken."

Step 7

Model how to bring an idiom to life with humor and a 3Doodler. Sketch your idea. Demonstrate how to incorporate a real world item, e.g., scissors, ruler, etc. and then embellish it with the 3Doodler.

Step 8

Use a tablet to take a picture of your doodled idiom and then upload it to an app like PuppetPals HP to animate your doodled object. Insert appropriate music or sound effects, along with an appropriate background to enhance.

Step 9

Divide student into pairs and allow them to select an idiom from the Idiom List. Hand out computers or tablets for researching meanings and origins. Students share their research and sentences on paper or an online shared document, like Google Docs.

Step 10

Instruct students to sketch a plan for their 3Doodled objects. What real world object can they use based on their idiom? Example: The idiom, "A bad apple," may actually incorporate a real apple. "Saved by the bell," could incorporate a real bell. Have pairs try a few different designs before choosing one to doodle.

Step 11

Each pair of students share a 3Doodler, take pictures with tablet and animate with appropriate background and sound, music or sound effects.

Wrap Up

Students present their idiom videos to class. Share origin, meaning and sentences. Share on Twitter at #3DoodlerEdu


Teacher will assess students based on scripts and performance.

Possible Extensions

Students take an existing idiom and give it an update, e.g., "eye candy" could be changed to "iPad candy," "lost his marbles" could be changed to "lost his fidget."


Idiom definition.

Free dictionary
A list of idioms
Idiom video

A list of idioms:

Cool as a cucumber, a bad egg, couch potato, soap opera, apple of my eyeeye candy, eliminate line breaks and write in a comma-separated list, saved by the bell, steal someone's thunder, fast food, zipped lips

one tough cookie

bad apple

go bananas

fruits of one's labors

raining cats and dogs

lost his marbles

working like a dog

a knuckle sandwich

a crabapple

go cold turkey


    Educational Standards

    Common Core

    Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

    In This Lesson

    Students will create concrete expressions of idioms with the 3Doodler.

    Next Gen Science

    Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

    In This Lesson

    Students will work in pairs to meet selected criteria to construct a concrete example of an idiom.

    Next Gen Science

    Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

    In This Lesson

    Students will work in pairs to sketch various design possibilities based on idiom before selecting one to doodle.


    Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

    In This Lesson

    Students will use the 3Doodler to create concrete examples of idioms.


    Exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

    In This Lesson

    Students will demonstrate willingness and competency within an open-ended task with more than one possible outcome.


    Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

    In This Lesson

    Students will create remix and repurpose idioms with 3Doodler.

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