Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Lower Primary
Grade:
1
Tags:
  • IRPELA
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Riddle Me Silly (AIG IRP)

    Riddle Me Silly (AIG IRP)

    Overview

    This lesson should be part of a larger focus on creative thinking and creative writing. This larger context could be poetry, figurative language, creative writing prompts, analogies, similes, metaphors, alliteration, onomonopeia, or other literary elements. This lesson targets the use of humor in writing through riddles. Students will read riddles, learn ways to write riddles and practice creating their own riddles.  As a final product, AIG students will choose to either make a booklet of animal riddles using word processing or to produce a simple PowerPoint presentation with their animal riddles. Illustrations will be included using clip art, computer graphics or their scanned drawings. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Overview

    Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: This lesson should be part of a larger focus on creative thinking and creative writing. This larger context could be poetry, figurative language, creative writing prompts, analogies, similes, metaphors, alliteration, onomatopeia, or other literary elements. This lesson targets the use of humor in writing through riddles. Students will read riddles, learn ways to write riddles and practice creating their own riddles.  As a final product, AIG students will choose to either make a booklet of animal riddles using word processing or to produce a simple PowerPoint presentation with their animal riddles. Illustrations will be included using clip art, computer graphics or their scanned drawings. 

    Time Frame: 2 days, 45 minutes each

    Type of Differentiation for AIGs:

    • Enrichment
    • Extension
    • Acceleration

    Adaptations for AIGs:

    • Process
    • Product

    Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: AIG students are creative thinkers and benefit from the use and enhancement of their creative, divergent thinking skills. Solving riddles requires students to use associative, inductive and divergent thinking skills. Writing riddles requires creative thought, humor and the higher level thinking skills needed for creating a product.  AIG students also often have an advanced sense of humor and will be able to understand the nuances and word relationships of riddles. In addition, giving the students the choice of their final product takes into account student interest and learning style. 

    Needed Resources/Materials:

    • Dr. DooRiddles, Series A1, A2, A3
    • Various books of riddles for the primary grades
    • Various non-fiction animal books and magazines

    Sources:

    • Doolittle, J. (2005) Dr. DooRiddles, A3.  Seaside, CA: The Critical Thinking Co.
    • Smutny, J.F., Walker, S.Y., & Meckstroth, E.A. (1997) Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.

    Teacher Notes: Resources to teach students how to write riddles are attached.

    Stage 1: Engage

    Day one:
    A joke or a pun
    Or a silly little rhyme
    When you think of these words
    What comes to mind?
    What am I:  A riddle!
    Hook the students into this creative writing exercise by asking this riddle of them, which has the answer of riddle!

    Ask the students what books they can think of that they have read that contain riddles. Ask where else can riddles be found? (Possible answers: on boxes of cereal, in Chinese Fortune cookies, inside candy, gum and Popsicle wrappers, on the sides of soda cans and juice boxes, in cartoons, and more). Invite the students to share any riddles they know.

    Read riddle to the students from Dr. DooRiddles for grades 2-3, by John H. Doolittle, or from another riddle book of your choice. Let them read some riddles on their own using the projector, or by providing a student handout. Ask them what characteristics or attributes of riddles they notice as they read and listen (couplet rhyming, ABCB patterning, short phrases, descriptive language use, and the use of questions, humor, and word play). List all student responses and lead them to discover characteristics they do not name through questioning and analysis of various riddles.

    Read the students this multiple meaning riddle: 
    We rock when we make music,
    Your hearing we may harm;
    And, with a watch I help time,
    To stay on your arm.
    What am I?  (Answer: a band)

    The teacher should guide the students to solve the riddle by asking them to:

    • read carefully, and to focus on the key words
    • try to figure out what is being described
    • try to form a picture of what they hear being described
    • connect all the clues

    Model this by asking:

    • In the first line, rock and music are key words. What kind of rock makes music? What kind of rock is being described?
    • In the second line, hearing and harm are key words. What kind of rock do you hear? How is harmful?
    • In the third line, watch and time are key words. A new category is being described now. How do these words relate to the first two lines?
    • In the last line, arm is a key word. What helps a watch to stay on your arm? 

    Ask: what word fits into both categories to solve the riddle?
    If a student provides the answer, ask why he or she chose the answer he or she did? If a student answers correctly, then walk the student through each line of the riddle to see if the solution given is correct. A band can make rock music that can harm someone’s hearing and it is also what holds a watch to someone’s wrist. The answer of “band” works but if someone else has a different answer that answer should be tried out as well. This strategy, the ability to arrive at solutions that fit into many different categories, will help them solve future riddles.  

    Continue to solve riddles together as a whole group or with a partner to gain more practice for approximately ten minutes. In addition to the Dr. DooRiddles riddles, share with the students riddles from other books that are not of the rhyming nature, but are more of the joke or pun variety.  An example of this: How did the sick pig get to the hospital? Answer: In a “hambulance!” This pun-style of riddle uses associative reasoning for the student to know that “ham” is a word related to or associated with pigs, and it is combined with an ambulance, which is always what transports sick people (or pigs!) to this hospital.  Students should experience both kinds of riddles.
     

    Stage 2: Elaborate

    Day two:

    Provide each student with a copy of the “Riddle Me Silly” worksheet. Guide the group to write one of each kind of riddle together as a whole group. They will practice together creating a joke or pun style of riddle and a “Who am I?” rhyming couplet style of riddle.  They will write riddles about animals and can look through non-fiction animal books and magazines to get ideas for animal attributes. Students should brainstorm ideas for each part of the riddle, particularly for the associative words needed for the joke or pun style of riddles. Students can use a dictionary and a thesaurus for assistance with the vocabulary. After writing a group-generated riddle of both kinds, students will create their own riddle of one of the two varieties. A blank copy of “Riddle Me Silly” should be provided to each student for this writing assignment.

    Independent Practice:

    As a final product, AIG students will choose to either make a page for a class riddle booklet using word processing or to produce a simple PowerPoint presentation with their own animal riddle(s). Illustrations will be included using clip art, computer graphics, or their scanned drawings. The combined booklet or presentations should be shown to another class to provide students with a real audience.
     

    Stage 3: Evaluate

    The students’ riddles should be evaluated on the following criteria using either a rubric or checklist. Students can also evaluate themselves using a self-evaluation of their writing using the same criteria. 

    Evaluation criteria:

    • The riddles are original.
    • The riddles are written in the correct question and answer, or rhyming, format. (student choice)
    • The student uses vocabulary in the riddles related to the given subject.
    • The riddles demonstrate the creativity of the writer.
    • The riddles are rigorous and challenging.
    • The student shows an understanding of the nuances in word meanings.
    • The student shows an understanding of word relationships.
    • The writer displays a sense of humor and cleverness. 
    • The writer uses complete sentences with correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling.  
    • Illustrations are neat, colorful, and provide elaboration of the subject.
    • Digital tools are used appropriately, with the teacher’s guidance.

    Teacher notes: Please see the attachments to use as tools in teaching students how to write riddles. Students can work in pairs to write their riddles, at the teacher’s discretion. Consider letting the students share their riddle booklets or riddle presentations with another class, perhaps even a kindergarten class where the students could assist in teaching the younger students a riddle lesson.