Cristina Sandza-Donovan, Barbieri School, Framingham, MA
Marleny Perdomo, Key Elementary School, Arlington, VA


Program Background Unit Plan Lesson Plan Teaching the Lesson Supplementary Materials


Lesson Topics: Figurative and literal meaning of proverbs (day two of the unit)


Standards to Be Addressed

Framingham Public School (FPS) Language Arts Curriculum:


Guiding Questions



Content Area Skills and Concepts


Language Skills

Thinking/Study Skills




Motivation (10 minutes)

Whole Group Activity

The teacher asks the students to recall the definition of a proverb and some examples discussed the previous day while reading the fables. The teacher also references the fact that they are learning about proverbs in English as well, and asks them to keep in mind any similarities between proverbs that they learn today in Spanish and proverbs that they either already know or are learning about in English.


Teaching/Learning Activities (50 minutes)

Small Group Activity

The teacher divides the class into cooperative groups and provides each group with a sentence strip that has an unknown proverb written on it. The teacher asks each group to predict the figurative meaning of that proverb and to write the predictions on a piece of paper.

The teacher provides each group with a short story that has the target proverb embedded in it, and asks the students to read the story and revise the prediction as needed.

The teacher gives each group the figurative meaning of their proverb so that students can confirm their predictions. Students then work in their groups to create posters that state the proverb, depict pictures with the literal meaning of their proverb, and include the figurative meaning of the proverb (as restated in the studentsí own words).

Whole Group Activity

Each group presents its proverb to the rest of the class by sharing its poster and discussing the literal and figurative meaning of the proverb.



The teacher assesses the presentations with a rubric that focuses on two areas: the studentsí ability to convey both figurative and literal meanings of their proverb and the quality of the posters and presentation. Part of the assessment rubric should address the studentsí use of correct vocabulary and their ability to orally present information that they have gathered (using correct grammar, appropriate speech style, etc.).



For homework, students compare a list of Spanish proverbs discussed during Spanish language arts and English proverbs discussed during English language arts. They determine which have direct translations, which have similar equivalents in meaning but are stated differently in each language, and which are unique to each language.