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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Riddle Me This

Are you looking to build your AAC user’s vocabulary some more? Try descriptive riddles.  Kids love riddles and jokes.  You can find a balance between funny (for words that might or might not be on your list) and target words (which might not have a funny riddle you can use).

One way to build strong vocabulary skills - and AAC navigation skills - is by using multiple meaning words.  We’re all familiar with such “funny” remarks as “Had a nice trip? See you next fall.”  While I am not a proponent of pranks, trash talk, or laughing at others’ misfortune, it is undeniable that such “jokes” make students laugh.

Once we have them convinced we know all the cool jokes and riddles, get serious and talk about why each one is funny and how the word(s) can be used with each of their different meanings.

Simple riddles can include: 

I live in a bowl.
I can swim.
I have a tail.
I have fins and big eyes.
I am a…… (find me in your AAC system to answer).

Students need to listen to the clues, figure out the answer, and find it in their communication system to answer.

I am the fifth planet from the sun.
I am named for the King of the Gods.
I am the fourth brightest object in the sky.
I am…… (I may not be in your AAC system because, really, who is going to use my name often, or even never?  But you should have a content-based board for specific nouns that just won’t get used again and aren’t worth devoting valuable real estate to.

Or, using the type of multiple meaning slang phrases I used in the first example, you can then discuss both meanings of “trip” and both meanings of “fall” presented in the sentence and have students find the words for both meanings in their communication system.

Building semantic relationship knowledge - the knowledge of how words are related to one another - is key for all students with language disorders.  It s especially key when our students have to consciously think about where the word they want can be found.

You can grab my free multiple meaning word riddles resource here.   And if you're interested in more activities for finding vocabulary based on listening to clues, try my Describe It to Me! Listening to Descriptions resource.

In the meantime, stay cool and……….keep on talking.


  1. Multiple meaning words are so versatile and riddles so fun! I'm off to get your freebie- thank you!

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