This is a great unit to use with world literature or as an early introduction to your students. It lets you know a lot more about them and their personal philosophies than they realize. It also, if presented well and given value, will have students really think about what they believe in and what is just a "cool idea" they might think sounds cool, but could never really follow.
I use this with my 10th grade world literature - we start the year by reading what is arguably the oldest and the "shortest literature in the world." Students like this idea and it is a way to ease/trick them into close reading throughout the year because it actually takes lots of thought to interpret proverbs. This is also a way to introduce major themes about life that often pop up in the literature we read. It is often a source of student-to-life connections in my class.
This lesson addresses CC ELA RL 1, 4, and 6 and SL 5.
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