How I Engage and Inspire Students with Weekly Riddles

A simple idea has brought excitement to this school. A board with weekly riddles encourages children to broaden their language and problem-solving skills. Read on to learn more!




On a visit to a colleague’s school a while ago I saw an idea that I really liked. In a corridor on the route to the playground was a small board with a riddle posted on it. This simple idea really grabbed me so I thought I would try it out in our school.



I set up a board and gathered a collection of riddles, some more difficult than others, and started to publish them on the board, one a week. There is a post box below the board for the children to post their answers.



This simple idea has been brilliant. The board is just outside my office and I frequently hear groups of children stopping on the way out to the playground to read the riddle. They often discuss it and try to figure out the answer with their friends. I suspect that some children work to memorise it so that they can ask their parent later. There is excitement when they think they have it and delight if they are named as one of the successful ‘decoders’ (this is published on the same board). Another benefit that I did not fully expect was that riddles often have slightly obscure language in them. This has led to discussions about what certain words say, and then has resulted in the broadening of children’s language.



Recently some of the children have hit upon the idea that they could bring in their own riddles. Some of the children are also those that are at earlier stages of their development and getting them to write down the riddle provided a meaningful context for writing as well as reading.



At the moment I do not give any prizes for getting it right. The reward is getting your name published on the board and the challenge of trying to work it out. This seems to be working well and I have been surprised by the continued interest in the riddles.



I have shared all of the riddles so far in a sequence of Word documents so it will be easy for you to implement if you want to give it a try.  You can find them on the downloads page or via the button below. 





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