Beacon Lesson Plan Library

This is Straight From The Horse's Mouth

Dawn Capes
Bay District Schools


Students use a PowerPoint presentation to learn about the history of some idioms, how they are used in our language today and practice using idioms themselves.


The student explores the origin and historical development of words and usage patterns.


-PowerPoint presentation (downloaded from Associated File)
-Paper/Pencil (each student)
-Computer with presentation capabilities
-Computer lab (or classroom computers ) with Internet capabilities OR books that explain history, usage of idioms


1. Download and review the PowerPoint presentation, -This is straight from the horse's mouth.- Make sure to understand the links and how to return to the index page.

2. Obtain a computer and TV with presentation capabilities.

3. Reserve a computer lab (or use computers in your room, if enough are available.)

4. Be sure that the computer lab has Internet capabilities.

5. Students may need help in using search engines to search for Idiom sites. Either review with them how to use sites like Google or write down the sites available in the PowerPoint presentation.


1. Ask students if they have ever heard these phrases, -This is straight from the horse's mouth.- or -He finally showed his -true colors.- Let students discuss what they think each one of these means. Allow time for students to discuss other sayings that they may have heard.

2. Tell students that these are actually idioms. Idioms can add colorful phrases to our language and people may use them without even realizing what the idiom's history or real meaning may be.

3. Refer students to the PowerPoint Presentation, -This is straight from the horse's mouth.- The PowerPoint will teach students the origin and history of different idioms and give them an opportunity to practice searching for and using different idioms.

4. Show the PowerPoint presentation. Allow discussion time as needed.

5. When you reach the slide that reads, -Your Assignment,- leave the slide up for a moment and allow students time to review the assignment.

6. If desired, you may give students the -Extra, Extra..- portion of the assignment or you may disregard it.

7. Allow students time to search the Internet for idioms and find the information. As students work, walk around and formatively assess that students are correctly exploring the origin and historical development of the idiom.

8. Once students have had time to research and write down the answers to their work, allow them an opportunity to share with classmates.

9. Collect student work and formatively assess for their understanding of the history and origin of the phrases (idioms) that they collected. Provide feedback that is positive, -How interesting. I didn't know that keep it under your hat means to keep a secret, but looking at your historical reference, it makes perfect sense.-


Students will be formatively assessed as they explore the origin and historical development of the idiom. Formative assessment is done in step 7 and 9. Note the criteria listed in the PowerPoint slides and formatively assess students using that criteria.


1) Students could prepare their idiom assignment in a PowerPoint presentation and present via a PowerPoint.

2) The PowerPoint could be set up on computers for absent students to review upon their return. Or it could be used for review purposes for those students not doing well on the formative assessments.

Web Links

Web supplement for This is Straight From The Horse's Mouth
More Idioms

Web supplement for This is Straight From The Horse's Mouth
Even More Idioms

Web supplement for This is Straight From The Horse's Mouth

Attached Files

The PowerPoint presentation necessary to do this assignment.     File Extension: ppt

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