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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hat Day Riddles

It's about time, teachers, for some Hat Day riddles.

No, the riddles are not about why the chicken crossed the road.  Rather, these riddles are about literary characters, historic figures, or occupations associated with hats.  Try these out:

          He may never grow up, but my, oh my,
          This boy in green can certainly fly!
          Who is he?

          His hat is striped in white and red.
          He put a pink stain on mother’s bed.
          Who is he?

          He  often wore a stovepipe hat.
          Do you know a president like that? 
          Who is he?

Were you able to solve them?  My students love the challenge!  I write 1 or 2 riddles on the board each morning of Hat Week.  As soon as my students arrive, they begin copying the couplets for handwriting practice.  While completing this anchor activity, they can ponder who is described in the riddle.  

At our morning meeting, volunteers read the riddles before we share the answers.  This affords me the opportunity to assess my students' ability to read fluently, with expression, and with regard for punctuation.  Mini-lessons on these topics are easy to slip in daily, giving valuable reinforcement for these critical reading skills.

Hat riddles are fun and motivating.  They can provide valuable information about your students' problem solving abilities.  Moreover, they provide the students with ample opportunities for making connections: text-to-world, text-to-text, and/or text-to-self.

These riddles are part of my thematic unit, Hats!  Hats!  Hooray for Hats!  There are 29 riddles in all.  If you have some gifted/talented students, challenge them to write more couplet riddles to share with the class.  Doing so causes them to employ higher order thinking skills.  I am always amazed at the riddles my kiddos compose.

The ELA components of this thematic unit include vocabulary work, comprehension, poetry, alphabetical order, writing center ideas, and a 14 page booklet for students to make about Hat Idioms. You can download the Hat Idioms Book for FREE on TpT or TN.  Following is a preview of the Hat Idioms Book:

Hold onto your hats!  

Next time, I'll share some math activities from Hats! Hats! Hooray for Hats!

The answers to the riddles above are:
Peter Pan
The Cat in the Hat
Abraham Lincoln


  1. So very clever - -I am always looking for some FUN to break the long winter. Thanks for sharing. My 5th grade students will LOVE this lesson. I'll remember to give a "shout out" on my blog to "YOU."

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I'd love to read some of the riddles they write. Thanks for a shout out; I'll be watching your blog!

  2. shouldn't the answer to the first riddle be Peter Pan not Robin Hood?

    1. OMG! You are so right! It should be Peter Pan.