Thursday, January 22, 2009

Celebrate the Joy of Language

Hink Pink - The Book ChookWhenever an opportunity arises, share the joy and fun of language with your child. Point out puns, ask and answer riddles, share a new joke. Read them and write them, too.

Games are a great way to do this. One my students loved is called Hink Pink. It can wile away the kilometres when you're on a on car trip, or make a great brain sparker in a lesson break. Pop one on a note into your child's lunchbox and drive them crazy for the rest of the afternoon.

One person thinks of two single syllable rhyming words, like fat cat. She works out a clue that should lead (eventually!) to the answer "fat cat". One clue could be "an obese mouse-catcher" or "a pet that eats too much" , depending on the age of the guesser. The guesser tries to work out what the two rhyming words are.

The game can be extended to Hinky Pinky (two syllable rhyming words), like happy chappy - "joyful fellow". Or Hinketty Pinketty (three syllable rhyming words, much harder), like mellower bellower - "less angry bull". Mix and match with Hinky Pinketty or Hinketty Pink!

Here are some Hink Pinks you can use to get you and your child started.
Clues
1. seafood platter
2. huge oinker
3. head cover that's been squashed by a truck
4. warmed up join between two ropes
5. rained on puppy

Answers
1. fish dish
2. big pig
3. flat hat
4. hot knot
5. wet pet

If your child has trouble working out how many syllables are in a word, play a game where you tap the syllables on her arm as you slowly say the word: “butt(tap)-er (tap)-fly(tap)”. Or march and dance the words, making strong body movements for each syllable. There is nothing more joyous than the sight and sound of thirty youngsters marching about, chanting the syllables in given words!

Once older kids are used to the game, it can provide a lead in to crossword puzzles, and then cryptic crossword puzzles. All of these activities are great for developing thinking skills, as well as giving the whole family a way of celebrating the joy of language.

Book Chook Challenge for my blog readers
(Hinky Pinky) : malevolent six-legged flour-dweller?
(Hink Pink) : oozy board?
Hinketty Pinky) : nightly record?

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful advice! Games help children retain material, but a lot of this has to do with the experience...the bonding of parent and child is what is remembered and cherished; the learning then becomes automatic and worth it all. Thanks for this interesting post.
    Lucy

    Recent blog post: All the glitters...Certainly is

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  2. Jen Robinson23 January, 2009

    I like this game, too, and your focus on encouraging the joy of language. My nieces love ghost (where you go around, each adding a new letter to a word - the loser is the one whose letter ends the word).

    Recent blog post: Chains Wins Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

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  3. I know, I know, I'm back to phredude. Excuse me while I search for myself. In the meantime, great ideas with word games. It's a great way to teach kids to love the whimsical quality of language, not to mention get them started on a path to poetry and music. As for the challenge, I couldn't get any of them. Flour dweller? Is that a beetle? Sorry, I feel so inadequate, but what else is new?

    Recent blog post: Just Dealing With It

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  4. Agreed, Lucy. My dad drove us crazy with his "jokes", yet those memories are strong and precious today.

    Recent blog post: Celebrate the Joy of Language

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  5. Thanks for mentioning that one, Jen. I didn't know it as Ghost, but will be sure to research it, try it and post about it here. Word games are such fun!

    Recent blog post: Celebrate the Joy of Language

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  6. I'm disappointed nobody has come up with my answers yet, Fred/Phred. If all else fails, do what I do - ask the kids for help!

    Recent blog post: Celebrate the Joy of Language

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  7. Well, the first one is Evil Weevil. Second, no clue. Third, best I can come with is Moon Tune.

    Recent blog post: Seeing Movies is Part of My Job

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  8. Yes!!!! Evil Weevil it is, Corey. An extra clue for the second, think what a pirate would use for his board. And for the third, because it's a hinketty pinky, the first word is three syllables and it rhymes with the second which is two syllables. Think diary for record.

    This will teach me not to use my hardest clues when I introduce a game!

    Recent blog post: Celebrate the Joy of Language

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  9. D'oh! Missed the part of the post about syllables! Okay, I'll have to think some more.
    _______ plank? Can't think of an oozy rhyme. And i used to be so good at stuff liek this!

    Recent blog post: Seeing Movies is Part of My Job

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  10. Oh, got it! Nocturnal journal! :)

    Recent blog post: Seeing Movies is Part of My Job

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  11. You're still good at stuff like this! Yes, the plank part is right. As for "oozy", I confess that before I checked it in the dictionary, I would probably have put "damp" for my clue. But when I found "oozy" in the Concise Oxford, I just loved it.

    Recent blog post: Celebrate the Joy of Language

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  12. Yay Corey! You wear the crown of the Hinketty-Pink Meister!

    Recent blog post: Celebrate the Joy of Language

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  13. Well, now that you say "damp", I'll go with "dank plank".

    do I get a prize? :)

    Recent blog post: Happiness is...

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  14. Meister indeed! You got it, Corey. And your prize is ... having a place to stay when you come dive the Barrier Reef!

    Recent blog post: Can Books Be Our Friends?

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