Idioms: It’s an Art Afterall

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

Diamond W.


The exchange

At my school we had  the pleasure of doing an international exchange with Italian and German kids. One week, Italian kids came and were matched up with Spanish partners. The same was done with German kids another week. On one of the days, the exchange kids came to the school to experience a normal school day. The other language assistants and I had to plan for fun and different workshops to do with the kids . The kids were split into four different groups and rotated between the workshops. With limited resources, I had to brainstorm an activity that would require little resources and still be fun. I decided to do a game about idioms! 

Idioms explained

Idioms by definition, are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. Every language has it, and what’s really cool about idioms is that when they're utilized correctly, it can reveal the level of fluidity of the user. How so? It’s not only about saying the idiom correctly, but also about using the idiom in the appropriate situation. 

How the game worked

Photo for blog post Idioms: It’s an Art Afterall

In the beginning, I presented a PowerPoint with pictures of English idioms and the kids had to discern how to say the idiom and what it meant. 

After I had showed a few English idiom drawings, I told the kids to make their own! They were told to draw two idioms in their chosen language, Spanish, German, or Italian, with their partners. Since they had to work with their partner who spoke a different language, they would be teaching each other an idiom. They were given 15 minutes to draw and at the end, as a class, we all had to guess the idiom that was drawn. 

Some Examples

Photo for blog post Idioms: It’s an Art Afterall

"Tirar la casa por la ventana"= Throw the house out of the window. This is used when someone spends all their money without any control. 

Photo for blog post Idioms: It’s an Art Afterall


"Coger el toro de los cuernos"- Another Spanish one. To grab the bull by the horns. Which is the same in English! It means to take control of the situation!

Photo for blog post Idioms: It’s an Art Afterall

"Den Teufel an die Wand malen"=  To draw the devil on the wall.” Germans use this idiom to express that someone is being overly pessimistic or only focused on a worst-case scenario.


In the end it turned out to be a very entertaining and artistic activity. So much so that I even did this activity with the other classes that I teach!