Year 1 Strand 9 – Creating and Shaping Texts
Find and use new and interesting words and phrases
Year 2 Strand 9 – Creating and Shaping Texts
Make adventurous word and language choices appropriate to the style and purpose of the text
Copy the examples of the riddles provided below as you will be showing them to the class later in the lesson.
Each pupil writes the name of their favourite celebrity, person or animal in the middle of a sheet of paper and around this they note down adjectives which describe their chosen subject. Your pupils are welcome to help each other with the adjectives/descriptions.
Bring your class together and show them our riddle examples. Explain to the class that they will each be writing their own riddle later in the lesson. Next, write the name of your favourite person/celebrity on the board (choose someone the children will be familiar with). As a class, discuss adjectives that describe your person. When you have 6 or 7, explain that using the ideas you’ve gathered your class now have to describe your person as if they were something else, such as a colour, an animal, an object, a food, a season, a feeling, a place etc. For example, if your subject was Robbie Williams, suggested adjectives may be handsome, tall and a good singer. Ask for suggestions for other things that can be described as the same adjectives, such as a prince is handsome or a skyscraper is tall. Write the first 2 lines of the riddle and then as a class work together on the remaining lines.
Now the children are ready to have a go at writing their own riddle using the ideas they wrote down earlier in the introduction.
This is a 5-10 minute activity. Where capable, ask the children to work in pairs to read their riddle to their partner. Their partner is to provide feedback; something they like about the riddle and a suggestion on how it could be improved. With younger children their riddle can be worked on in small groups or with an adult’s assistance. The riddles can be given as a wet play activity or as homework. This activity can be extended to a further lesson by pupils redrafting their riddle and illustrating it.
More capable children can be given the challenge of writing a longer and more descriptive riddle. You can provide a subject such as an item or place rather than a person. You can suggest key words for them to use as well as asking them to ensure their punctuation, spelling and grammar are correct.
Ask less able children to describe their favourite animal - they can work in pairs or small groups on a joint riddle. To encourage the use of varied language, you can provide a list of adjectives for all the pupils.
This activity is about an hour depending on class size, age and ability. The riddles can be as simple or as difficult as you’d like them to be. The activity is ideal for homework as well as a class activity. Riddles can be about anyone or anything. If you have a subject you are currently studying that you’d prefer the children to write about spell out several words to do with the subject on the board.