Conflicting Proverbs [Classroom Material]

I can’t say this is a totally novel idea and have to say that I probably borrowed it from a bunch of online sources. There must be thousands of ways to use these proverbs/sayings. What I tend to do is hand out half of them to half the students and (you guessed it) half to the other half. I ask students to consider how truthful this expression is and when we might say it. I also say that I am happy to help if there are any confusions on meaning. There likely will be. Then, when students have discussed how true they think it is they are then matched up with someone who had the other paper. The job now is to compare meanings, truthfulness and situations. Depending on time and other conditions it can also be fun to have students create  a story/situation in order to get their classmates to say the phrase. How might you exploit these materials? 

(I’m also interested if people think some of the expressions are outdated and not useful to teach or anything else you might want to share.) 

1)  Practice makes perfect.

2)   Birds of a feather flock together.

3)   Never judge a book by its cover.

4)   Good things come in small packages.

5)   Look before you leap.

6)   Silence is golden.

7)   The pen is mightier than the sword.

8)   You are never too old to learn.

9)   One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

10) Wise men think alike.

11) Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

12) Many hands make light work.

13) It’s better to be safe than sorry.

14) Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

15) There is no such thing as a free lunch.

1)   Nobody is perfect.

2)   Opposites attract.

3)   The clothes make the man.

4)   The bigger the better.

5)   He who hesitates is lost.

6)   The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

7)   Actions speak louder than words.

8)   You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

9)   What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

10) Fools seldom differ.

11) Out of sight, out of mind.

12) Too many cooks spoil the broth.

13) Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

14) Don’t cross the bridge until you have come to it.

15) The best things in life are free. 


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