Studies show that instructional processes need to adopt new student-centered approaches, in order to keep learners interested in a subject. One such approach suggested is the inclusion of puzzles and riddles as a way of involving student participation. Rather than let students be passive listeners, integrating riddles related to real life circumstances will improve effectiveness of a learning environment.
Imparting lessons on subjects like mathematics and English can produce better results when using riddles as part of the instructions and problem solving process. After all, a riddle can be a statement or a question using descriptive words to indicate numerical values or physical attributes hidden behind meanings.
When used as part of a mathematical lesson, a riddle enables students to easily comprehend because their wordings relate to real life situations. Moreover, such exercises can also enhance the critical thinking abilities of lesrners.
Examples of Math Riddles to Use in Mathematical Instructions and Problem Solving Exercises
Puzzles and riddles may seem silly but challenging. The fun thing is that students realize that when solved as a mathematical problem, the solution is so simple.
Riddle: 25 students make up this class. If all students are present and were to shake hands with each other, how many handshake will each student make?
Answer: 24 handshakes. Each student is excluded from the handshake count, since he or she does not have to shake his or her own hand.
Riddle: If a rooster laid 5 brown eggs and a chicken laid 10 white eggs, how many eggs will there be in all?
Answer: 10 eggs. Roosters do not lay eggs, so there is zero possibility for a rooster to increase the number eggs laid by a hen.
Riddles as Means of Improving Reading and Grammatical Skills
In teaching grammatical lessons like homonyms and metaphors, riddles can provide the best examples.
Riddle: What is mostly black and white but better if red all over?
Answer: Newspaper. The red here is an example of a homonym, as it actually refers to the word read , which sounds the same as red if in the past tense,
Riddle: Give me food and I will live, give me water and I will die. What am I?
Answer: Fire. The riddle here makes use of metaphors.
To make riddles more effective in the classroom, teachers may use it for different group activities.
One way is to divide students into groups, to work together in solving a list of riddles. The first group to solve all, gets the highest grade. This means the longer it takes for a group to solve the riddles, the lower the equivalent grade earned. Other group activities may include debating on potential answers to riddles, or asking students to compose their own riddle.