Proverbs and Sayings

There are a number of proverbs and sayings about right and wrong. For example, the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” means that you should treat people the way you want them to treat you. What proverbs do you know that deal with right and wrong?

Ask Americans to explain these sayings to you. Do they know any more sayings about money? Collect as many sayings as you can and share them with your classmates.

1. A penny saved is a penny earned.

2. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

3. Save something for a rainy day.

4. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die.

5. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Observe the Media

Working with a partner, look at the titles of some popular American self-help books. What aspects of life do they promise to improve? What conclusions about American values can you draw from these titles?

Collect other book titles by visiting an American bookstore, checking best-seller lists or websites, and looking at ads for books in magazines and newspapers. Share your findings with the class.

‘Use the Internet

Work with a partner. Search the Internet and find the answers. Discuss у our findings.

The Committee for the Study of Religion at Harvard University sponsors a website—www. pluralism. org. The website lists information about their study of religious diversity in the United States. Go to their website and answer the following questions. (Click on Resources and then Statistics.)

a. Which religions are listed?

b. Are there any that were new to you? Did you know about Baha’i or Sikhism or paganism?

c. Choose one that is interesting to you. Find other websites with information about Americans who practice that religion. What facts and statistics from the website are most interesting to you?


A. Choose one of the following topics. Then write a short composition about it.

1. Americans volunteer in many ways: at churches, in libraries or museums, in hospitals, or in schools. Former President Jimmy Carter volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. The goal of this organization is to build houses for poor people. How successful have they been? Go to the Internet and find out. Can you help where you live? How? Write a report about a Habitat for Humanity project that you would like to help with.


Habitat for Humanity volunteers build a house for people in need.

2. Times of crisis often bring out the best in people. When a house burns down and a family is homeless, or when there is a natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake, people often volunteer to help. Think of an event that you have experienced, or one that you have heard about, and write a description of what happened and how people helped.

B. Practice using supporting details such as definitions, facts or opinions, statistics, examples or illustrations, descriptions, or quotations.

Choose one of these topic sentences and write a paragraph with good supporting details. You may use information from the chapter or ideas of your own.

1. September 11, 2001, had a profound effect on the people of the United States.

2. The Protestant work ethic causes many Americans to work very hard.

3. Americans are (or are not) religious.

4. Americans are very interested in self-improvement.

5. Freedom of religion may result in a spiritual kaleidoscope.

C. The following people are highly regarded for their religious work. Choose one and find out why the person is or was important. Do research on the Internet and then write a report about your findings.

Dalai Lama Mother Teresa

Martin Luther King, Jr. Muhammad

Desmond Tutu

Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:16 pm