A discussion and game using proverbs.

This is a game using proverbs which was inspired by a quiz show on TV. My students had great fun doing this. 

Level: Intermediate – advanced 

Time: 20mins +  


1. Start with a discussion of some common proverbs used in English. Select about 12 to 15 examples and briefly discuss their meaning, how they are used in conversation and whether students have an equivalent in their own language . 

Here are some proverbs you could use: 

  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do. 
  • Every cloud has a silver lining. 
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. 
  • To kill two birds with one stone. 
  • Actions speak louder than words. 
  • Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. 
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. 
  • The pot calling the kettle black. 
  • Love is blind. 
  • Birds of a feather flock together.    
  • Walls have ears. 
  • The early bird catches the worm. 
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. 
  • All that glitters isn’t gold. 
  • Beauty is only skin deep.

You could also try the following websites to find some more examples:




2. Draw one of the proverbs on the board and invite students to guess which one it is. 

3. Invite a confident student to come to the front of the class. The student chooses another of the proverbs that have been discussed and draws this on the board while the rest of the class tries to guess what it is. The student who guesses correctly is then invited to draw the next proverb.


  • Turn this activity into a competitive game by dividing the class into two teams and awarding points for correctly-guessed proverbs.
  • Students could mime instead of draw the proverbs.