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Speaking Of Wolves

Subject: Social Studies, Language Arts
Theme: Wolves and People
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Classroom

Students will be able to:

  1. list at least three wolf sayings
  2. describe the origins of common sayings and expressions using the wolf as their inspiration

Students will research common colloquial or archaic expressions using the wolf and report on their origins, meanings, and usage.

We often unconsciously use common expressions in everyday language that have been derived from the animal world. We say that a person has eagle eyes or we give someone a bear hug. Some expressions have originated from observations on wolves. Men sometimes use wolf whistles when directing their attention to members of the opposite sex. People are sometimes said to wolf down their food. A person is described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The study of these expressions, their origins, and their usage, can tell us a lot about how man has perceived the wolf over time.

Access to a library or the Internet

Students are given the assignment to find and research expressions involving the wolf. They are to look for information on the origins of these expressions, their meanings, how these expressions were used, and when they were used.

Have students try to make up their own wolf expressions.
Have students research other animal-related sayings and show how these are used in our language.
Have students make flash cards with animal expressions and a separate group of cards with the drawn illustrations of the literal meanings of these expressions. The students may then exchange cards and match them to each other.

"Getting to Know the Wolf"

An adult wolf

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