Idiom of the Week: “To open a can of worms”

by Laurie Laurendeau on February 15, 2012

Idioms are short phrases or expressions that we use in the English language to express a thought in a more interesting manner.  Examples of idioms might include “in a pickle”, or “it’s raining cats and dogs”.  Children who struggle with reading comprehension often read quite literally what is on the page, and then the true meaning of the sentence can be lost.  Teaching your child a new idiom each week will help improve his/her ability to “read between the lines” in both oral speech and in written texts.  Have fun trying to use the idiom each week in everyday life!

IDIOM:  “To open a can of worms”

DEFINITION:  To start a situation/conversation that won’t be good.

EXAMPLES:  1. By bringing up the fight again, he was just opening up a can of worms.

2. I wanted to ask her about her hospital visit, but I didn’t want to open up a can of worms.

ACTIVITY:  Ask your child to draw a big can with large worms coming out of it.  Have her write ideas on the worms that would be examples of situations where someone would be “opening a can of worms”.


  • As always, playing math games at home is a great way to reinforce math skills learned in school.
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