This lesson happened in History class, but it could have easily been a lesson in English class. We were learning about Confucius during a History unit about Ancient China,when it occurred to me how many of Confucius' saying are still very relevant today and I wanted my students to make that same connection. There are so many good character lessons to be learned from Confucius.
I decided that the best way to go about this would be to do a speed dating activity with our History notebook and a favorite Confucius quote. I have already written a post about speed dating so I won't go into detail again and risk being repetitive. It was titled "Talk Moose's be dating mystery date with Sherlock Holmes" What?!?!
In this variation the students paired up with a face partner around a row of desks, and then read their quote to their "date". Their partner then talked about their interpretation of the quote, how it might be applied to present day situations, and if there is a modern day phrase that is similar in meaning. Then the "couple" would repeat the procedure with the other partner sharing their quote. They would both write down what their partner had said about their quote in their notebook. After a couple of minutes I gave the signal and partners stepped to the left on one side of the table and to the right along the opposite side of the table to find a new "date". At the end of the lesson each student had a nice list of ideas from their classmates about the meaning of their quote.
Some of the quotes I used were:
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it"
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop"
"It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get."
"To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge."
"A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions."
"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire."