Digital Visual Idioms: Visual Arts and Language Arts Integration

It Costs an Arm and a Leg (my digital visual idiom example)

I love anything that is a play on words. Metaphors, similes, double entendres, and idioms; I love them all! Lately, I’ve been focusing on integrating visual arts into “general” (non-arts) classrooms. Figurative language often relies on highly visual wordings; it is a natural way to integrate visual arts and language arts.

Bad Hair Day by Robert Deyber, source

by Keren Rosen, source

This lesson is designed for 4th-7th graders (the lesson I wrote is specifically with 6th graders in mind) and focuses on using idioms. We used for the digital design aspect.

Here is a copy of the full lesson plan:

Here is the process:

1. Identify and define idioms
2. Identify and define visual idioms
3. View various examples of visual idioms
4. Discuss the meaning of the idiom textually vs. idiom meaning visually (figurative vs. literal)
5. Review popular idioms / make a class list
6. Students select an idiom
7. Students brainstorm what images are needed to create a visual idiom
8. Students use Google Images or Open Clip Art to source copyright-free / royalty-free images

9. Students view a live or video demonstration of how to search for royalty-free and/or copyright-free sources images and using Pixlr to create their visual idiom

10. Students use the “Pixlr Tips and Tricks” handout for reference 

11. Students create their artwork

12. Students self-asses their artwork