5 Ways Idiom Books Support Virtual & In-Person Learning

Page from Telugu-English edition of “With Flying Colors – Color Idioms” by Anneke Forzani

Our new Language Lizard Idiom Books are a great resource for teachers in virtual, in-person, or blended classrooms, as well as homeschooling families. The Idiom Books come with a variety of FREE activities to share with students and families. Take a look at some of the teaching resources that accompany Language Lizard Idiom Books (available in paperback and eBook). Learn more about the book series and why #IdiomsRock in our previous post.

Free Multicultural Lesson Plans

Language Lizard Idiom Books come with links to 3 free lesson plans:

  • Understanding Idioms and Figurative Language
  • Learning Color, Nature, Food, and Animal related Idioms
  • Understanding the History and Context of Idioms

The lesson plans include an exploration of idioms in a multicultural context and provide exercises that students can do with their families, even those that speak a language other than English at home. Learning together can strengthen parent-child bonds and enhance home-school connections.

Idiom Activities

Below are just some of the fun activities that come with the purchase of Language Lizard Idiom Books. Many of the activities allow students to practice idioms while learning about other cultures.

  • Animals in Mexico: fill-in-the-blank short story using animal idioms
  • Hindu Holi Festival: fill-in-the-blank short story using color idioms
  • Hanami “Flower Viewing” in Japan: fill-in-the-blank short story using nature idioms
  • Guess the National Animal Activity
  • Animal Idiom Games Video
  • Multicultural Street Foods Activity
  • Favorite Foods Activity

… and many more!

Resources to Learn About Idioms In-Depth

Page from Hmong-English edition of “With Flying Colors – Color Idioms” by Anneke Forzani

Each purchase of a Language Lizard Idiom Book comes with additional resources and links to learn in-depth history and background information about all the idioms featured in the books. Many of the illustrations show characters and settings from around the world, providing many opportunities to teach children about other cultures and communities!

Bilingual Books: Great for Take-Home Lending

Language Lizard Idiom Books are available in 9 language editions, offering literal translations and meanings in a second language.

Teachers can create “learning packs” for students to take home that include idiom books in their home language, along with the free included activities. It’s a great way to strengthen school-home connections, and non-English speaking parents will appreciate being included in their child’s learning.

Students can also explore idioms in the home language and compare similar idioms that occur in different languages.

eBooks Also Available

eBook versions of Language Lizard Idioms Books are also available, to make sharing online even easier. They are available through most major eBook platforms, including Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Overdrive.

Free Bonus: Idiom Word Searches

To help jump start the Idiom learning fun, access our FREE Idiom Word Searches now!

Have you studied idioms with your students? Share your experience below, or tell us why #IdiomsRock on social media!

Multicultural, Bilingual Idiom Books are “A Breath of Fresh Air”

We are excited to announce a new series of idiom books, available in many languages. With clever multicultural illustrations and bilingual example sentences, Language Lizard Idiom Books explain common idioms in a way that makes them easy to understand.

What is an Idiom?

An idiom is a phrase that says one thing, but means something different. An idiom can be a quick way of saying something complicated. It’s useful for language learners to study idioms because knowing idioms helps them to understand and speak English fluently.

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Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month – In the (Virtual & In-Person) Classroom

October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month! Whether your class is in-person or virtual this month, there are many ways to celebrate language learners in both settings. This is also a great opportunity to celebrate the parents who promote bilingualism at home, and increase parental involvement in school. 

Here are 5 ways teachers can incorporate Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month into in-person and virtual learning activities like reading, music and art sessions, and even PE time. Share this information with families too – they will have lots of fun celebrating their language learners at home! And be sure to check out our inspiration handout for more ideas.

The Many Benefits of Being Bilingual

There are so many reasons why it’s great to speak more than one language in childhood. Science has found that bilingual kids enjoy cognitive, social, and emotional benefits. These advantages begin in infancy and continue throughout the school years into adulthood.

Processing words and thoughts in multiple languages leads to beneficial brain changes. These modifications promote neuroplasticity and enhanced “executive function,” which means a greater ability to focus and to switch between tasks.

1. Play a Game Using Bilingual Books

Illustration of grandpa and child and a book

Even when we can’t travel from home, books allow us to travel in mind and spirit. Check out our post about playing games based on bilingual children’s books for a book-inspired scavenger hunt, charades, puppet show, and more!

Interested in a chance to win free bilingual books? Our 15th Anniversary Bilingual Book Giveaway is still going strong! (If you previously entered, you are automatically part of every drawing.)

The lucky winner chosen during Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month will receive a set of bilingual books in many languages and a copy of our popular teaching manual, Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources. (Books will be sent to US or Canada addresses only.)

2. Play a Game From Another Part of the World

Playing games is a great way to get kids moving and playing together. You can search online for games that are played in other parts of the world. (Physical games may need to be adapted to suit your school’s social distancing guidelines.) Here are a couple of our favorites.

1, 2, 3 DRAGON! (China)

This is an active family game where players form a line with each person’s hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them (like a conga line). The first in line is the Head, and the last person is the Tail. The Tail yells, “1, 2, 3, dragon!” and the Head starts moving to try and catch the Tail. The rest of the players must follow the Head’s movements exactly while trying to stay connected to one another. If the line disconnects, then the dragon has died. But if the Head catches the Tail, the Dragon survives! The person playing the Head moves to the back of the line and becomes the Tail, so everyone gets a chance to be the Head.

PALM BALL (Italy)

Similar to Dodge Ball in the US, you’ll need a ball and a piece of chalk to play this game. Mark off a big, chalk rectangle on the ground, with a line through the center. Each player stands in their side of the box. One player starts by serving the ball into the other person’s box, and that player must send the ball back by hitting it. You can’t hold the ball – you can only hit it back into the other person’s box. The challenge is to only let the ball bounce in your box once or twice before returning it to the other side.

3. Make Some Music

multicultural bilingual activities for kids

Music is a wonderful way to introduce kids to different cultures. Look up musical instruments from around the world, and use craft supplies to recreate them. They don’t have to be perfect replicas! It can be pretty amusing to try and craft unique instruments like a Korean haegeum, or an Indian taūs (which looks like a peacock) using what you have at hand. Kids will be learning about other cultures and making music in no time!

4. Explore New Cultural Cuisine

cover of multicultural children's book about food

Different cultures around the world have their own favorite foods. Search online for a gazpacho recipe, and enjoy the classic cold soup of Spain and Portugal. Or, have the kids help make rolls of spam musubi, a popular snack in Hawaii. Filipino halo-halo would be so refreshing, or maybe you’re adventurous enough to try some durian fruit? It’s a fun (and delicious!) way to learn about another culture.

5. Work on Literacy Skills in a New Way

Want to help kids strengthen their literacy skills? Search online for virtual reading programs through schools, libraries, and other community organizations. Bilingual children, in particular, can significantly improve their literacy by reading bilingual books in both of their languages. You can also find interactive learning sets that make use of new tap-and-listen technology to make learning lots of fun.

Comment and tell us how you will be celebrating the awesome bilingual children in your life!

Native American Story Supports Environmental Education

Page from bilingual children's book The Biscuit Moon

“The sun beats down relentlessly on a scorched landscape where nothing is growing. Buffalo is listless and desperately looking around for
something to eat. Then, one evening he finds a white biscuit in a small
pool of water. But, he is not the only animal to see it and a great fight begins… But all is not what it seems.”

Language Lizard is proud to announce our latest bilingual storybook offering: The Biscuit Moon is a timely and engaging Native American tale about a distressed traveler – Buffalo – in search of a better life. The story explores the ideas of climate change, cooperation, and the need to share precious resources.

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Oromo Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Today’s spotlight language is Oromo! We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding children’s books in Oromo.  Interested in learning about other languages as well?  Check out our series of posts on world languages, including Spanish, Nepali, Hindi, Russian, and Japanese!

Where is Oromo spoken?

The Oromo language, also known as Afaan Oromo, is a Cushitic language spoken by the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Egypt. The Oromo people are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, accounting for about 40% of the population. Oromo is spoken by an estimated 30 million people around the world.

How Many People Speak Oromo in the US?

Currently, there is no Census data on how many Oromo speakers live in the US. However, there are large Oromo speaking populations in Washington DC, New York, Washington state, and Minnesota.

Interesting Facts About Oromo

Scholars have found examples of written Oromo literature as early as the 17th century.

In the early 1970s, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) chose the Latin alphabet as the official alphabet to write Oromo, called Qubee. Prior to that, Oromo was also written with the Ge’ez script.

There are 3 main dialects of Oromo: Western, Eastern, and Southern.

All nouns in the Oromo language are grammatically masculine or feminine. Consonant length can distinguish words from one another, for example, badaa means “bad,” and baddaa means “highland.”

Oromo Books – Bilingual Children’s Books

If you interact with children who speak Oromo, or are learning the language yourself, you may want suggestions on some of the best bilingual Oromo kids books and audio books.  The bilingual children’s book The Biscuit Moon, a powerful story about scarcity, greed, and the benefits of cooperation, is available in English with Oromo. 

Do you speak Oromo, or are you learning the language? Comment below and share your interesting language facts!

“Sof Omer Cave, Ethiopia” by Rod Waddington via Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/z58ZnN

Idioms in Different Languages

Guest post by Ofer Tirosh

One of the hardest parts of learning a new language is getting used to all the different idioms that other cultures use. These are often expressions that have a firm grounding in the culture from which they originated, so learning and translating them requires a strong cultural understanding of the new language. Below we’ll look more in-depth at idioms, how they transfer across different languages, and how language learners can bridge the cultural divide when studying idioms.

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Interactive Early Literacy Set – Great for Summer Learning!

This unique interactive early learning flip-chart pack gives children an exciting, new way to learn critical English words and themes by adding a sound element. The Touch, Listen & Learn pack is an ideal resource for early learners (ages 3-6), new arrivals, or special needs students. It is easy to use, so children can work independently with the set.

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SPANISH for KIDS! Interactive Set makes learning fun!

Our new Spanish learning set is a fun and interactive way to keep kids learning during the summer months. Kids will enjoy building their language skills with these interactive sets… independently, with an adult, or with their whole class! Language Lizard also offers an interactive  English early learning literacy pack, and an English phonics set.

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Talking to Children about Racism and Inequality – Resources for Teachers and Parents

Photo by Logan Weaver via unsplash

We at Language Lizard always strive to promote inclusion, and celebrate diversity. We encourage schools, teachers and families to address the inequities that exist in our society. This post contains resources that specifically address how parents and teachers can talk about race and racism with children.

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