Things Fall Apart Lesson Plans
by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart: Understanding Proverbs

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Excerpt From This Document

Proverbs are brief, popular sayings that convey a moral lesson (aphorisms).They are often found in folklore & in the Bible. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe writes, “Among the Ibo, the art of conversation is regarded highly, & proverbs are the palm-oil with which the words are eaten (10).”

Proverbs can come in many forms:

  • Metaphor- “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
  • Antithesis (Contrasting words or phrases in parallel structure)- “Man proposes, God disposes.”
  • Play on words- “Forewarned, forearmed.”
  • Rhyme- “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
  • Alliteration- “Better safe than sorry.”
  • Parallelism- “Waste not, want not.”

Choose 2 proverbs from the following list and for each:

Explain the meaning.

Proverb #1

Proverb #2

Identify a situation (real or imagined) to which the proverb can apply, andexplain how that saying applies to the scenario.

Proverb #1

Proverb #2

  • You can’t judge a book by its cover.
  • Pride goes before a fall.
  • A stitch in time saves nine.
  • Haste makes waste.
  • Beggars can’t be choosers.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • You’re barking up the wrong tree.
  • Don’t put the cart before the horse.
  • You can’t have your cake & eat it too.
  • Waste not, want not.
  • The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can today.

About this Document

An assignment designed to increase students' understanding and familiarity with the concept of proverbs. I chose commonly used American proverbs to introduce students to the term.