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At the End of My Rope


Idiom for Kids – What Does ‘At the End of My Rope Mean? A Free Printable Poster for Your Classroom Wall.

Teaching Idiom

Examples of Idiom with Sentences

What does ‘At the End of My Rope’ mean?

at the end of my rope
Teaching Idiom – at the end of my rope

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a group of words that mean something different from what the actual words say. This means that what is said in an idiom is not exactly what is happening, but often describes another feeling or action. Idioms are like codes – we need to solve the puzzle to figure out what they really mean!

Teaching Activities:

When discussing this idiom, act it out for students. Don’t be afraid to ham it up!

Literal Meaning – (what the words ACTUALLY mean)

  1. To students, say ‘Imagine I have a rope in my hands. It’s stretching up above me and I’m all of the way at the bottom.’ (bonus points if you have an actual piece of rope to hold onto).
  2. Look up like you’re looking at a long rope above you, then look down like you’re in the air. Pretend to hold the rope tighter like you’re high in the air and afraid of what’s below you. Say ‘Don’t look down! I’m at the end of my rope and there’s nothing down there! Help!’

Figurative Meaning – (What the INTENDED meaning is)

  1. Say to students, ‘Although this group of words may make you think of this picture, idioms are not always what they seem to be.  When someone uses the idiom ‘at the end of my rope’, what do you think this means? What do you think the man in this picture is thinking or feeling?’ Students Think Pair Share their ideas.
  2. Reveal the figurative meaning of this idiom to students. ‘When you’re at the end of your rope, you’re out of patience and worn out. You may have no energy or strength left and are ready to give up. Sometimes people say ‘at the end of your tether’, but it means the same thing. When describing farm animals that were tied, or tethered, to a fence they would pull to the end of their rope to reach as far as they could. It would probably be frustrating and tire that cow or horse out! Can you think of a time when you were at the end of your rope? Now, let’s take a look at some idiom examples using this phrase.’


Idioms with Sentences

– Display the dialogue models and have students act them out:

Example 1 – 

Ajani: My brothers are driving me crazy! I’m at the end of my rope!
Dakota: Oh I know. I get it. Wait…what rope?
Ajani: It’s an idiom, Dakota. I can use it to describe how I just have no more patience to deal with them!

Example 2 –

Archie: I’ve been studying and practicing for our math test. It’s all I’ve been doing. I’m tired. It’s driving me crazy!
Zara: It sounds like you’re at the end of your rope.
Archie: I’m tired, worn out, and ready to give up. You could definitely say I’m at the end of my rope.

Students Experiment with the Idiom –

Have students play and experiment with their new idiom. You can have them do a ‘Think, Pair, Share’, ‘Think, Pair, Square’, and when they are feeling confident ask for victims… do a double take… I mean… volunteers to perform their skit for the class.