Environmental Idioms for Earth Day

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The next best time is today.”
—Chinese proverb

Earth Day is on April 22, and it’s a great day to learn idioms about the environment! Visuals like this poster can really help students remember new vocabulary and idioms. For other ways to practice idioms, see Tara’s suggestions in 8 Fun and Interactive Ways to Review Idioms. Try our blank idioms poster as an idiom quiz or vocabulary review. Related vocabulary for this poster could include overfishing, pollution, waste, consumerism, overspending, recycling, composting, deforestation, and global warming.

Love Idioms

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Students love learning idioms! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to teach love idioms to your young learners. Visuals like this poster can really help students remember idioms, which can be difficult because they don’t make literal sense. Last year, our writer Tara Benwell created this fun Love Idioms poster for us. Download the full-size PDF version by clicking on the image or link below.

Download the large-size printable Love Idioms poster PDF
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Expressing Fear and Phobias: English Idioms


Spiders, snakes, small spaces, and storms. What do these things have in common? Ask your students this question. If they say that these words all start with “s,” ask them to guess again! These “s” words are all things people are scared of! Other common phobias include the fear of germs, dogs, needles, and flight.

This week in the Spotlight, we are featuring our Discovery Center lesson plan on Spiders. After you try the lesson plan, get your students talking about their own fears and phobias. Your students will have fun learning NEW English idioms and sayings that are related to fear. (more…)

Spirit Day Ideas for ESL Classrooms

Spirit Days
Sprout English’s theme of the week is clothing! Your students will love learning clothing vocabulary with these fun cards and games.

Does your school hold Spirit Days like Crazy Hair Day or Pajama Day? A monthly Spirit Day is a great way to give kids something to look forward to. My own kids love “er” day at their school. This is when students and teachers dress up as anything ending in “er.” If you’re looking for some new ideas for Spirit Days for the upcoming school year, check out these lists, and be sure to add your own ideas in the comments below. Here is a sample Spirit Day Letter that you can use to send home to parents. (more…)

Spring Idioms

“Is spring coming?” he said.
“What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
~ Francis Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

The flowers are blooming and the birds are singing—spring is in the air! Your students are probably excited about playing outside again and looking forward to the Easter long weekend. Grab their attention with our Spring/Easter Idioms poster!

Students usually love learning idioms because they’re funny, but they can have trouble remembering them because they’re not literal. Using visuals such as this poster can help! Hang the poster in your class (along with our other idioms posters listed below, if you wish) so that students can see the idioms every day. You can also try some of the activities suggested below that will help students remember these idioms.

Download the printable Spring Idioms poster (PDF)
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Lucky Idioms – Poster & Activities

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way—
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
—Author Unknown

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner (March 17), it’s a great time to learn these idioms about luck!

Idioms appear in many places in English—in movies, on TV, in books, and in everyday conversation. Students usually enjoy learning idioms because they’re fun, but have trouble remembering them because they’re not literal. Using visuals such as this poster helps students remember idioms, especially when the visuals contain clever “tricks” (our designer has worked some literal clues into this poster). (more…)

Eye Idioms Poster

“The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye
  The story of love is hello, goodbye.”
  —Jimi Hendrix

Did you know that January is Eye Care Awareness Month? It’s the perfect time to teach eye idioms to your young learners! Students love learning idioms because they’re often funny, and they are so prevalent in English, especially in movies and on TV. But idioms can be challenging to remember, so visuals like this poster are very helpful! Our new designer Robyn has created a free poster of Eye Idioms for you to use in your classroom. Download the full-size PDF version by clicking on the image or link below.

Download the large-size printable Eye Idioms PDF (more…)

8 Fun and Interactive Ways to Review Idioms

There’s no escaping idioms! Whether you love them or hate them, your students need to know them. Of course, it’s more important to teach idioms that are in common usage. If you come across outdated idioms in your teaching materials, be sure to tell your students to avoid using these expressions. Some students fall in love with idioms, and end up overusing them in their writing. Teach your students that idioms are great to know, but should be used sparingly. Too many idioms can drive people bonkers!

In Sprout’s Spotlight this week you’ll find a fun lesson plan about Astronauts. To keep on theme, here are 10 air and space-themed idioms that you can teach your students, followed by 8 fun and interactive ways to review idioms. (more…)