It's difficult for my students to apply rules to anything except what you are not supposed to do in class! We are getting there, however. We've used this icon in math often-the rules of 10's and 1's, the rules of identifying shapes and spelling is easy-the rule of using "y" at the end of a word. Now we are moving toward incorporating it into science.
We discussed the "Rules" of being an artic animal. The fact that artic animals need to have ways of protecting themselves from the cold and from being open to predators. They have blubber, thick fur, ways to camouflage--all rules of these animals. Then I asked them to invent their own arctic animal using these parameters. It was again challenging for many of them to come up with something NEW. They wanted to do a dog or cat-many of them combined 2 animals-a penguin/shark. In the end, I believe the activity at least made them think a little harder, which of course, is my classroom mission!