Exercises Using Proverbs
Along with reading mystery novels and funny one-liners, using proverbs is an excellent method of assessing comprehension. Though there are some proverbs that are not easily understood (perhaps by anyone), they will nonetheless start the thinking process and can be used as a springboard to other exercises. The reading and analysis of proverbs exposes the child/student to wisdom boiled down into a sound bite that may stick with them for their lifetime. Though perhaps less inspirational, they might just serve as a prompt for an analytical essay. Proverbs also provide a window into the mores and values of various cultures; one can compare the proverbs of one culture to others to see which maxims (or the sentiments they impart) are universal, and which are unique to specific cultures. Finally, since many proverbs have another proverb that contradicts the first, they can serve as a good starting point for thinking about morality and if folk wisdom is really wise in all instances.