Students, working in cooperative groups, will select two to four familiar and unfamiliar sayings and phrases from the list below. They are encouraged to make additions to the list.
Each group will discuss what they think the sayings mean. They are to use their inference skills in making good guesses about the meanings. After inferring the meanings, each student will write how the saying or phrase can apply to his or her life and help them become better students or friends, or a better sister or brother.
Old saying: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Interpretation: What you think about people depends on how you view them as persons and how well you know them or things about them. For example, someone might see a person and think that person is cute. But someone else might know that this person is not nice and therefore may not think he or she is cute because of his or her "ugly" ways.
There is also the reverse of this. For example, someone could be unattractive on the outside to a person but beautiful to someone else because of their attributes.
This activity is an excellent way to integrate cultural diversity into the curriculum because many of the sayings and phrases originate from different ethnic, religious, and cultural groups. To involve parents, grandparents, and other family members, have the students to ask relatives to share some old sayings or proverbs and explain how they originated.
Excerpted from Beyond Rhetoric and Rainbows: A Journey to the Place Where Learning Lives ©1996 University of Illinois Extension.