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Proverbs and sayings 5/5 (1)

Exploring Proverbs/Sayings & Their Understanding Across Different Cultures

Keywords: Proverbs, Sayings, Culture, Globalisation

Aims and Rationale

The aim of this activity is to draw parallels between English sayings and African proverbs. Students will be able to draw connections between understanding of their own culture and their peers. It can support student understanding that learning experiences are often shared and knowledge overlaps. 

Learning Outcomes and Associated Areas of Knowledge

  • Understand that in a more globalised world it is important for us to draw similarities between each other.
  • Draw parallels between their seemingly different cultures and gain a better understanding of themselves and each other.
  • Demonstrate their own understanding of sayings they are familiar with and their real life application
  • Understand how information can get lost in translation and the importance of perspective when communicating with others.

21st Century skills

  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Global and Local Connections
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Research Skills and Practices
  • Flexibility and Adaptability


·     Paper
·     Pencils/Pens
·    This worksheet English African Proverbs for use by students (with answers)

How to

Students are to link up (through drawing lines or joining up letters the sayings that correspond with each other) and then also discuss in a group for up to 10 minutes before concluding within the class).


Some students may be offended by the use of certain sayings.
Some students may argue with the translation of certain sayings (when translated from a language they are familiar with).
Students may not be unaware of any sayings from English culture or African Culture.
 All challenges can be overcome by facilitating a discussion.

Assessment for Learning

Final assessment involves a (2-3 students) joint short presentation on a region with a folktale story and their understanding of it and a saying they have developed between themselves to characterise that story.

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Further reading


Hilali Community Contributions

The activity in this section was  co-created by teachers, students, researchers, academics and others interested in developing tools for those working in Higher Education and Cultural Heritage. To make the activity, the Hilali Toolkit Learning Designer was used. If you are interested in contributing activities, please use our learning designer or contact us.

Creator of ‘Proverbs and sayings’:

Franklina Owusu-Brobbey (Inclusive Curriculum Consultant, Kingston University, UK)