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Has the Cat Got Your Tongue?

Subjects: Arts & Humanities: Language Arts
Grades: 3-5

Brief Description

Students work to improve their enunciation skills and to communicate effectively by taking part in a tongue-twister speaking competition. Then they write tongue twisters all their own!

Objectives

Students

  • practice effective communication skills by using proper enunciation.
  • identify and correct errors when repeating several tongue twisters.
  • have fun with language as they write tongue twisters.

Keywords

contest, drama, enunciation, public speaking, speech, theater, tongue twister, writing

Materials Needed

copies of printed list of tongue twisters

Sample Tongue Twisters

  • Bill's feet feel beat.
  • Dean's Meals means deals.
  • Sherry hates hairy states.
  • Rubber baby buggy bumper.
  • Quick throats, thick quotes.
  • Great gray gaping grape grates.
  • Luther's sleuthing's useless truth.
  • Big bad bugs bit Bitsy's back.
  • Silly sheep still asleep.
  • Trains lack lain track.
  • Gail's maid mailed jade.
  • Where's Squire's spare wires?
  • Shriek, screak, squawk, and squeak.
  • Twitching, walking witches talking.
  • Willie's really weary.
  • Mister, whither sister's zither?
  • She sees seashells by the seashore.
  • Sixty silly sisters simply singing.
  • Great glass globes gleam green.
  • Frank's peers pranks feared.
  • Their skis scare these.

See the following Web sites for additional tongue twisters.

Lesson Plan

This activity is good practice to achieve proper enunciation. The students should have fun with tongue twisters as their mouths won't do what they want them to do, and they replace intended words with nonsense!

Explain that tongue twisters get their name because they are hard to pronounce. Tongue twisters are difficult to say quickly because they require one's mouth to move in different positions for each word.

Share with the class several tongue twisters. Have the students repeat them. Display a list of tongue twisters on the chalkboard, and pass out copies of the tongue twisters list.

Activity 1:
Organize students into two teams. Have a student from each team face off. A student from the first team repeats a given tongue twister three times rapidly. If the student pronounces the tongue twister correctly all three times, the team earns 2 points. The facing student from the other team attempts to pronounce the same tongue twister three times in rapid succession. He or she scores 2 points for correctly pronouncing the tongue twister. Then the next student pair faces off with a new tongue twister. Play continues for a designated amount of time. At the end of the time period, the team with the most points wins.

Activity 2:
Have students write tongue twisters of their own. The new tongue twister can be added to the tongue twister game in Activity 1. [See some samples at Tongue Twisters Written by Kids.]

Assessment

This tongue twister activity can be used quarterly to assess individual student progress in proper enunciation.

Submitted By

Jacqueline Miller, Churchland Academy Elementary, Portsmouth, Virginia

1/25/2002


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