Sunday, 2 November 2008

Healthy Food Riddles for Tescos

As promised, here are the riddle poems I wrote for the Tescos competition that took place over the weekend of the Warwick Words Festival at the Warwick branch of Tescos.

I took the traditional Anglo-Saxon riddle poem as my model and worked from there, trying to choose healthy foods as subjects. This was one of the last projects I did as part of my commitment to the Warwick Poet Laureateship.

The riddles are aimed at children between about 5 and 10 years old, so shouldn't be too difficult for adults to solve!

Feel free to print these off and use them for your own kids, or as a school resource if you're a primary teacher, but please be polite and do make sure my name appears on the sheet(s).

If you like, you can suggest answers for the riddles below, by clicking on Comments. If you're absolutely desperate to make sure you got the right solutions, you can email me. But they're not that difficult, honest!

One or two have alternative answers, where either can be correct. The final riddle is particularly slippery that way ... ;)

Green and round
and big and red.
Deliciously tempting.
When I fall, gravity
is discovered.
I keep every tooth
in your head.

What am I?

I could be a triangle.
Or a square.
Full of holes.
Round, thin as a string,
or shaved like hair.
I can peel like a banana, too.
Terribly good for you.
And yes, I’m afraid that’s me,
not your socks: I pong!
But I’m really tasty.
If you were a mouse,
I wouldn’t last long.

What am I?

Sometimes I run and drip,
sometimes I’m still and cloudy.
You may have seen me with a bear.
I wish I could fly
like those who made me.
I’m the only comb
you mustn’t put in your hair.

What am I?

It was dark and warm
where I began.
I could have been anything:
a stick or a plait,
a pocket or tin.
Rectangular, I’m thick or thin.
You can fill me
and take me most places.
Pull off my coat,
I fall to pieces.

What am I?

Turn me around for a tasty meal!
I’ve trained the best,
I build muscles of steel.
I may be green
but don’t leaf me alone.
If you want to be strong,
healthy and lean,
you’ll have to take me on.

What am I?

Sweet and fresh
I can go out alone
or get mixed up instead.
I’m easily embarrassed,
a shocking red.
At the table, I make people shout.
(Not my fault!
When the chips are down,
I’m all squeezed out.)

What am I?


Leave your answers below, if you like!


hankgee said...

Hi Jane,

Thanks so much for the great food riddle poems that I used to teach the art of these poems to my 5th grade students. I told them I would verify with you whether we correct answered your riddles.

1. apple
2. cheese
3. honey
4. bread
5. lettuce
6. salsa (although the last clue kind of threw us off)

How did we do?



Hi Hank

Thanks for your message. I'm very pleased indeed that you used these in class!

The first four answers are, as you correctly guessed:

1. apple
2. cheese
3. honey
4. bread

BUT, your next two answers are wrong! Oh no! But they were tricky ones to guess ...

5. spinach
6. tomato (though salsa is close enough, I think, since tomato ketchup was an alternative answer)

The spinach riddle is based on childhood memories of the Popeye cartoons where he used to eat whole cans of spinach to make him strong - it's full of iron, you see!

Also, the first few words of number 5, 'Turn me around' form a clue-pun based on the name of the vegetable, i.e. spin=ach. But it is probably the most difficult one.

I'm so glad you enjoyed using these though, and I hope it worked out well with the kids. Do suggest them to other teachers as a possible resource.

All the best, Jane