Proverb Match‏‎

Lesson Plans & Activities

Old japanese proverb:1 kind word can warm 3 winter months.Proverb Match is a nice, simple way of practicing proverbs. It also allows for plenty of speaking practice.


You will need to prepare a list of proverbs; each one needs to be written on two cards.

Too many cooksspoil the broth.
A stitch in timesaves nine.
A fool and his moneyare soon parted.
The bigger they arethe harder they fall.
Wonderswill never cease.
There’s no timelike the present.
The customeris always right.

…and so on until you have as many as you can make.

Here is a long list of proverbs‏‎ you can use.

Running the Activity

In the class divide the students into two or more teams. Shuffle the cards and then deal out all of them to the teams.

The first stage is to give the teams 5 minutes or so to put together as many full proverbs as they can with the cards they have; they should lay these out on their own desk for you to check and see.

Obviously each team will be able to make some proverbs, but for many of them they’ll be missing cards.

The next stage is swapping. The “extra” cards each team has are divided amongst its members who must mingle with everyone else to try and swap them for a card they need. This will entail different students talking to different other students and moving around trying to find the card they need and doing a deal with the person who has it.

After 5 or so minutes stop the game and see which team has the most completed proverbs on their home desk.

The whole activity can be followed up by a third stage where you can award points for teams who know the meaning of the proverbs they’ve created.

Image © bondidwhat

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