Riddle Me This… Part of Mr. Stovall’s Unit on Jokes, Riddles, and Puzzles Much of this lesson was taken from Marcy Zipke. “Teaching Metalinguistic Awareness and Reading Comprehention with Riddles. ” Reading Rockets, 2013. Web. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/28315/ .
Riddle Writing:Metalinguistic Awareness Classic Knock Knock Childish Example Comprehension Knock knock.Who's there?Cargo.Cargo who?Cargo BEEP BEEP! Knock knock.Who's there?Stop!Stop who?Ummmm… Stop at the stop signs! Knock knock.Who's there?Tennis!Tennis who?Ten is my favorite number!
Word play • It’s fun to play with words. • When you start to understand that words and sentences can have more than one meaning, you’ll begin thinking flexibly about what the appropriate meanings may be. • Working on riddles strengthens your ability to make connections among these multiple meanings of words.
The majority of the 1,000 most common words can be ambiguous -- for instance, the word CAN. • Sentences can also be ambiguous – for instance, “The child talked about the problem with the teacher.” “The man’s nails were very sharp.” “The chicken was ready to eat.”
A riddle is a question that turns into a joke. It starts with a puzzling question and ends with an answer that surprises you and usually makes you laugh. • Usually the riddle works because a word in the riddle has more than one meaning. • Why are fish smart? • Because they swim in schools, of course! • Can you think of any good riddles?
Some Lexical riddles • Why did the witch go to night school? • She wanted to learn how to spell better! • Do you have any fans in your house? • No, everybody hates me! • Why can't cheetahs hide very well? • Because they're always spotted! • Why do spiders like baseball? • They're good at catching flies!
What has an ear but cannot hear? • Corn! • What is gray, has four legs, big ears, a tail, and a trunk? • A mouse going on vacation! • Why did the orchestra have bad manners? • Because it didn't know how to conduct itself! • Why is a school like a kingdom? • Both have lots of subjects! • How do you weigh a fish? • They come with scales!
Why do you need a baseball player with you when you go camping? • To pitch the tent! • Why did Grandma knit three socks for her grandson? • Because he grew a foot! • Why did the student bring a king to class? • Because his teacher told him he needed a ruler!
Rearranging Syntax (structural ambiguity) • How do you make a hot dog stand? • You take away its chair.
Structural Riddles • How do you stop a skunk from smelling? • You hold its nose! • How is a duck like an icicle? • Both grow down! • What has four wheels and flies? • A garbage truck! • Where can you see a man eating fish? • A seafood restaurant!
Will you join me in a bowl of soup? • Do you think there's room for both of us? • Why did the bear tiptoe through the campground? • He didn't want to wake the sleeping bags! • What kind of stamp do you have to stick on yourself? • None. You stick them on envelopes! • What did the doctor say to the patient who thought he was getting smaller? • You'll just have to be a little patient!
How do you stop your dog from barking in the house? • Put it outside! • Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants? • In case he got a hole in one! • What is the easiest way to make a banana split? • Cut it in half!
How might you write your own riddles? • Choose a topic. If should be something you know a lot about, such as school, an animal, teenagers, a sport, etc. Don’t chose baseball. That will be our example. • 1. Write yours down. • 2. Generate a list of words or phrases that pertain to your topic. • Bat, ball, bases, plate, umpire, player, outfielder, shortstop, catcher, coach, diamond, uniforms, etc. • 3. Examine your list to see if any of them are homonyms (words with more than one meaning). • Bat = an animal • Ball = a dance • Plate = something you eat from • Umpire = n/a
Your Turn! • Try to write a riddle for each homonym from your list. • Why do spiders like baseball? They’re good at catching flies! • Why do umpires make good dinner guests? Because they’re always cleaning the plate!
Part 2: Riddle PoemsTaken from a ReadWriteThinkLesson available here: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson169/RiddlePoems.pdf The Guess Book (c. 1820) Christina Rossetti There is one that has a head without an eye, And there’s one that has an eye without a head. You may find the answer if you try; And when all is said, Half the answer hangs upon a thread. The beginning of eternity, The end of time and space, The beginning of every end, And the end of every place.
Answers I. The letter e II. Pins and needles
Jonathan Swift At the back of every Igloo, And the middle of the Moon, Always running around in Loops you’ll find me, If you look inside the Room. What am I? We are little airy Creatures, All of diff’rent Voice and Features, One of us in Glass is set, One of us you’ll find in Jet, T’other you may see in Tin, And the fourth a Box within, If the fifth you should pursue It can never fly from you.
Answers III. Vowels IV. oo
J.R.R. Tolkien J.R.R. Tolkien Alive without breath, As cold as death; Never thirsty, ever drinking, All in mail, never clinking. Voiceless it cries, Wingless flutters, Toothless bites, Mouthless mutters.
Answers V. Wind VI. Fish
Subhasitaratnabhandagara (Sanskrit riddle poem) What Am I? He has no feet, yet travels far; Literate, but no scholar he; No mouth, yet he clearly speaks. If you know him, you are wise. My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick Fat, I am slow Wind is my foe. What am I?
Answers • A Letter • A Candle
Try this: • Here’s an on-line interactive to help you rework your earlier riddle or create a new riddle poem. • http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/riddle-interactive-30024.html