three snowflakes illustrating winter and the word "idioms"

Idioms: winter and winter-inspired

Worksheet overview

This ESL worksheet is divided into 2 parts: first, students look at idioms directly related to winter and cold (e.g. cabin fever, the winter blues, the dead of winter). The second part of the worksheet is dedicated to idioms inspired by winter (e.g. snowed under, on thin ice, a snowball’s chance in hell). A lot of them can be used in a business setting, so you can use this part of the worksheet with Business English students as well.

The lesson starts with a few discussion questions about winter and cold weather. Then, students read a short dialogue, which introduces the first group of idioms (e.g. cabin fever, the winter blues, the dead of winter). Students work out the meaning of the idioms from context and match them to their definitions.To practise, students look at 4 situations and decide which idiom can be used in each one. Then, they complete a multiple-choice activity. Finally, they discuss 5 conversation questions, each including an idiom.

Next, students look at a dialogue between 2 colleagues, which includes 4 idioms (e.g. on thin ice, snowed under, the tip of the iceberg). Then they complete 3 sentences with their own ideas. Students learn the last 5 idioms (e.g. give someone the cold shoulder, a snowball’s effect, cold feet) by matching sentences with similar meanings. Then, students complete 5 sentences with the correct idiom (there are photos given to illustrate the idiom needed). Finally, students choose the correct idiom to complete 7 questions and discuss the questions in pairs or small groups.

To review these idioms and for more speaking practice, you can use the printable conversation cards.


Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

This worksheet works well in combination with the following lesson plans

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