Phantom Tollbooth: Chapters 5 to 8 Homework

Posted On February 26, 2010

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Phantom Tollbooth Guide

Lesson 4: Guided Reading: Chapters 5-8


An idiom is a phrase which has a different meaning from the meaning of its separate words. Idioms are expressions we use to convey a certain meaning or idea. Idioms have an “understood” meaning rather than an actual or literal one.

Here is an example. When we say that it is “raining cats and dogs” what we are really saying is that is it raining very hard. That is the meaning we are trying to convey. We don’t mean that cats and dogs are actually falling from the sky. So the “real” meaning of those words isn’t what we are really saying – we are using the non-literal, or the idiom meaning to let someone else know how hard the rain is!

Idioms make our language colorful and expressive, but they can often be challenging as well. In this lesson, think about both the literal, or real meaning, as well as the non-literal meaning of idioms.

Think about these idioms. Do you know what they mean?

You took the words right out of my mouth.

I’m all ears.

I’m going to hit the books.

You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Let’s take a look at each one. When you say “You took the words right out of my mouth” did someone actually take words out of your mouth? No, that idiom means that someone said just what you were thinking or wanting to say.

When you say “I’m all ears” are you literally covered with ears? No, that idiom means that you are listening very carefully.

If you “hit the books” do you really, physically hit them? No, that idiom means that you are going to study hard or really spend time with the books.

When someone says you are “making a mountain out of a molehill” does that mean you are building a mountain where a molehill was? No, that idiom means that you are making something much more important than it actually is or blowing something out of proportion.

Look here: for a detailed list of idioms.

Now, skim through the story and record as many idioms as you can in 5 minutes below. Ready – go!

Don`t bite off more then you can chew. In one ear and out the other. If it isn`t one thing its the other. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. You don`t have to bite my head of.

Those are some idioms that I found in the book.


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