The City of Ember The City of Ember is a novel about a group of people who have been moved to an underground city to protect them from the disaster that may kill all of mankind. The people in Ember do not know they are in a special protected place. Knowledge of the outside world has been kept from them. Doon, one of the main characters, goes to the library to learn about fire. The library books contain only bits of information. Read this excerpt from The City of Ember about Doon’s library experience. Although he’d often found something interesting in these searches, he’d never found anything important. Today was no different. He did come across a collection called Mysterious Words from the Past, which he read for a while. It was about words and phrases so old that their meanings had been forgotten. He read a few pages. Heavens above Indicates surprise. What “heavens” means is unclear. It might be another words for “floodlight.” Hogwash Means “nonsense,” though no one knows what a “hog” is or why one would wash it. Batting a thousand Indicates great success. This might possible refer to killing bugs. All in the same boat Means “all in the same predicament.” The meaning of “boat “ is unknown. The phrases Doon read are what is known as idioms. An idiom is an expression with a meaning that cannot be guessed from the meanings of the individual words. Idioms are common and they occur frequently in all languages. An estimated 25,000 idiomatic expressions may be found in the English language. Many idioms are expressions used in sports. Football Idioms carry the ball to be in charge of something, to be responsible for something game plan to have a strategy run interference to intervene on behalf of someone in order to protect him or her from something tackle a problem to attack a problem with much effort Baseball Idioms bat a thousand a guess that is in a certain area or range, an approximate guess come out of left field to be completely unexpected, to be a surprise cover all one’s bases to thoroughly prepare for or deal with a situation Pool Idioms behind the eight ball at a disadvantage call the shots to control something, to make the rules Sailing Idioms smooth sailing something is going well and is having no problems take the wind out of one’s sails to become discouraged and lose one's enthusiasm Boxing Idioms blow by blow account a description or account that provides much detail saved by the bell rescued from a bad situation at the last minute hit below the belt to not follow the rules, to do something that is not fair in someone’s corner on someone's side, supporting someone Golf Idioms make the cut to meet or reach a required standard on par with someone equal in importance or quality to something or someone par for the course what is normal or expected in a given situation Idioms may come from many sources including: Proverbs - Myths - Folklore - Bible - Shakespeare - American Phrases - Examples I had to race against time. - to rush to beat a deadline He’s in a rat race. –a fierce struggle for success, especially in one's career or business I can't keep my head above water. - to manage a situation Can you name some of these? hit a bull’s eye to achieve the goal perfectly folklore a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to reach the goal you wish to obtain jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire to go from one bad situation to worse situation chained to the computer to spend a lot of time working rolling out the red carpet doing everything possible to make someone welcome Activity 1 – Idiom Cards Match idiom pictures to their literal and figurative meanings. Activity 2 Complete the handout by Writing an idiom Write the idiom’s figurative meaning Draw a picture to illustrate the idiom.