The sun is shining, BBQ smells waft through the air, birds sing and children laugh as they play in their gardens in the evening sunlight. Summer tantalises all the senses so why not inspire your pupils’ riddle writing with summer!
Ask your pupils to write down all the words they associate with summer, then together write a couple of sentences to show them how a riddle is compiled, for example…
If the word is ‘Sun’ your riddle sentence could be: “I’m as hot as a giant bonfire” or “I’m as bright as the biggest, shiniest star in the night sky”
If the word is ‘BBQ’ your riddle sentence could be: “I bring fun and laughter to your garden” or “I’m like a chameleon, I start off black and change to grey”.
Why not use sport to inspire your pupils? From football or athletics or gymnastics, there are lots of sports and sports stars to inspire them!
For the children who aren’t so keen, they can still write a riddle about sport… and how boring it is! E.g.
Who am I?
I see long, beautiful hair tied up like a ballerina,
I see scarves waving and hear shouting,
I feel tired and start to daydream,
I hear a huge roar and leap to my feet,
I see my dad with his shirt over his head, running run,
I hear blah, blah, blah,
I feel very bored.
A: I am not a football fan!
Encourage pupils to use an poetic technique in their riddles, such as:
Similes – pupils can describe their answer as or like something else:
“It’s as furry as a bear” or “It is white like a snowman”
Onomatopoeia – pupils can describe their answer like the sounds it makes:
“It whooshes in the air” or “It buzzes round flowers”
This is a great way for pupils to try using poetic techniques and make their writing more interesting.
We suggest 6 clue ideas in the Little Riddlers worksheet for pupils to try. If they are struggling with those or they don’t appeal then encourage them to use their sense, feelings and colours to describe their riddle answer!
It’s a fun way to adapt poetry writing for both age and ability.
A kenning is where you use a two-word phrase in the place of a one-word noun. E.g. A baby becomes a dummy-sucker.
The poem is built up with 8 or more two-word phrases and for an added challenge they can be in rhyming couplets!
As a class, create a spider diagram with the word ‘Moon’ in the middle – this is the subject for the Kennings poem.
Think of as many descriptions of the moon as you can and write them down before working to make them into two-word phrases.
E.g. Cheese-rock / tide-master / light-giver etc
Try this short activity to get pupils inspired with imagery. If they can get the reader imagining what their riddle is about then they are well on the way to writing a fantastic riddle!
Ask pupils to close their eyes and imagine these things, one by one – use their senses and powerful verbs / adjectives to describe them without saying what they are!
- An ice cream
- A kitten
- A swimming pool
Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/5bRnkhlfjMc