How to Use Terse Verse in Your Classroom
A terse verse is a two word phrase that rhymes and answers a riddle. They are also referred to as hinky-pinky or higgly-piggly poems. I use these riddles as a sponge activity at the end of the day after we have cleaned up. We use them in a version of the game hangman where I put a line for each letter of the answer and keep track of wrong letter guesses. I read the clue question aloud several times. I find that word games like these increase vocabulary while having fun. This game is often a request at the end of the day.
In order to have students write their own terse verse, have them brainstorm a list of words that rhyme, or introduce them to rhyming dictionaries either in print or online. They should then choose two words that make a short phrase.
This is a good opportunity to teach parts of speech. Most terse verses follow an adjective noun pattern or a noun verb pattern. Once they have their two word phrase, they should think of a question that could be answered by the terse verse. If you have access to a thesaurus online or in print, this is a useful tool to create the question.
I then have students share their terse verse with the class or in partners or small group. Or you can have students write their verses on index cards with the question on the front and the answer on the back.
I hope you and your students enjoy this activity.