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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 07:28 pm
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Default Riddles for the ESL classroom

Anyone got suitable riddles for the ESL class?

I'll share one:

A cowboy rode into town on Wednesday, stayed two nights, and left on Tuesday. How was it possible?

(I'll post the answer later)
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Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 08:01 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

I know, I know!!!
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Unread Feb 9th, 2007, 06:45 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

So do I - neigh neigh. This is really a lateral thinking problem (these come from the work of Edward de Bono). I use them a lot in the classroom. Students can ask you all the yes/no questions they want till they get the answers. They're excellent for practising simple past and past continuous.

For example, for the situation :

1. A man was lying dead in a field with a bag beside him. How did he die?

Students might ask : Did he walk into the field ? (No) Was he carrying the bag when he came into the field? (Yes) etc. Another one is :

2. A man walked into a bar and asked for a glass of water. the barman pulled out a gun and pointed it at him. The man said "Thank you" and left. Why?

I'll publish the answers later too, but till then - you can each ask up to five questions for each situation to get clues and I'll give you the answers. Only Yes/No questions, mind!
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Unread Feb 9th, 2007, 08:15 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Ok I want to play! Here are my five questions for the first one about the man in the field...

1 - There is only the man and the bag in the field?
2 - Is there some poison or animal (like a snake, scorpion, killer bees) in the bag that could have killed him?
3 - Was there some stormy weather like lightning that could have killed him?
4 - As he didn't walk to the field was he killed someplace else and then dragged there?
5 - Was he carried into the field with the bag in his hand as you said he was carrying the bag but didn't walk into the field?

Interesting riddle
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Unread Feb 9th, 2007, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Quote:
2. A man walked into a bar and asked for a glass of water. the barman pulled out a gun and pointed it at him. The man said "Thank you" and left. Why?
1) Was it a real gun?
2) Did he know the barman?
3) Is "Can I have a glass of water?" code for something? (!! lame question I know!)
4) Did he really want a glass of water?
5) Had he seen something that he shouldn't have?
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Unread Feb 10th, 2007, 02:28 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Hi Emile,
The answers to your questions are :
1. Yes
2. No poison, no animal
3. No
4. No - he died in the field
5. No he wasn't carried in, and no he didn't have the bag in his hand (that's a clue!)

Hi Jennifer,
The answers to yours are -
1. Probably - but ii doesn't matter. The man thought it was. (Clue!)
2. No
3. No
4. Yes (think about why ...)
5. No

You can now ask five follow-up questions ....
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Unread Feb 10th, 2007, 06:19 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

OOh this looks fun!

I know the answers to both of these, so here's another for you.

A man pushes his car to a hotel. The owner then demands £1000, which the man promptly pays. Why?

same rules guys - 5 questions, yes or no.

later!
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Unread Feb 10th, 2007, 07:09 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Hi Clive,
1. Had the car damaged the hotel in some way?
2. Had the car broken down?
3. Had the car run out of petrol?
4. If not, was there something wrong with the man so that he couldn't drive?
5. Did the hotel owner intend to keep the money for him/herself?
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Unread Feb 11th, 2007, 02:26 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Hi Susan,

1. no
2. no
3. no
4. no
5. oh yes indeed
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 11th, 2007, 03:39 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

More ...
1. Was the man a guest at the hotel?
2. Did he know the hotel owner in some other way?
3. Was there a bet involved? a debt? a purchase? compensation? (I know - 4 questions in one ..)
4. Was the man angry about this ? happy? surprised? (yeah - ditto)
5. Would the hotel owner have preferred not to have had to ask for the money?
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Unread Feb 11th, 2007, 07:53 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

I haven't looked at this post for a few days, and I remembered I promised to post the answer to my original question:


Quote:
A cowboy rode into town on Wednesday, stayed two nights, and left on Tuesday. How was it possible?
...Wednesday was the name of his horse!



Looking forward to finding out the answer to Sue's question about the bartender and the gun
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Unread Feb 12th, 2007, 01:34 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Quote:
Quote susan53
More ...
1. Was the man a guest at the hotel?
2. Did he know the hotel owner in some other way?
3. Was there a bet involved? a debt? a purchase? compensation? (I know - 4 questions in one ..)
4. Was the man angry about this ? happy? surprised? (yeah - ditto)
5. Would the hotel owner have preferred not to have had to ask for the money?
1. no
2. yes
3. yes
4. angry probably, surprised probably not
5. NO!
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Unread Feb 12th, 2007, 10:07 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

OK - got it. Good one It happens to me every time too - only I usually push a mushroom. I'll post the answers to mine tomorrow, so if anyone wants to ask some more questions - last chance.
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Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 05:50 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

The answers :
1) The man jumped out of a plane but his parachute didn't open.
2) The man had hiccups.

I noticed as I was doing it that Clive's question needed more complex structures for some of the questions than my two. Before using these puzzles, you need to think them through and predict the questions the students might want to ask so that you can decide which level they're suitable for.

I wrote about how I use them in the classroom here, and if you want to see some more puzzles, try here.
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Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 08:06 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

A man pushes his car to a hotel. The owner then demands £1000, which the man promptly pays. Why?

Looking forward to finding out about the man ...
I didn't get it!
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  #16 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 01:57 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Don't shout at me, but he was playing Monopoly!

Makes you mad, doesn't it?
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Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 06:26 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Quote:
Quote clivehawkins
Don't shout at me, but he was playing Monopoly!

Makes you mad, doesn't it?
Haha that's very funny actually - nobody saw that coming.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 07:26 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

Quote:
A man pushes his car to a hotel. The owner then demands £1000, which the man promptly pays. Why?
Fantastic riddle! But also fantastic headache trying to explain it to a class of China students!
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Unread Feb 13th, 2007, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

I think I need practice in thinking laterally.

Quote:
1) The man jumped out of a plane but his parachute didn't open.
2) The man had hiccups.
I would never have thought about hiccups without some serious hints.....

..... or Monopoly.

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Unread Feb 14th, 2007, 08:48 am
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Default Re: Riddles for the ESL classroom

I'll second those.


I must be simple
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