Riddle Poetry Writing Activity

Define

This writing activity will show you how to write a style of riddle called 'Mystery Guest'. Your mystery guest can be a person, object, place or animal. The aim of the activity is for you to write a poem describing your 'mystery guest' as several other things and at the end reveal who the poem is about.

Explain

Firstly choose who your mystery guest is going to be and write their name in the middle of a piece of paper.

Next, write words around their name that you associate with them. This can be anything from their height to what they like to do. In a different colour pen think of things that are also like the words you have chosen. For example if you put your mystery guest was a good ‘singer’ you may liken that to ‘birds singing on a spring morning’. Perhaps they are ‘tall’ like a ‘skyscraper’.

Now, from the list below choose three or four (or them all if you like!) and write them on your paper in a different colour pen:

Season
Food
Activity
Famous person
Animal / creature
Colour
Feeling
Object
Item of clothing

Next to your choices write down the ‘answer’ of what your mystery guest would be if they were these things. For example if they like football you may liken them to ‘The Super Bowl’.

Finally it’s time to put your ideas together to make a list of descriptions so the reader can guess who your mystery guest is. You can move the lines around and change words once you have the basic poem structure written down.

Show

My Mystery Guest

It is the summer sun, fierce and strong
It is the Sahara Desert, dangerous and sometimes deadly
It is yellow, like a thorny but beautiful rose
It is a steak, cooked rare, still bloody
It is fear and admiration, it commands respect
It is soft like a piece of velvet
It is a warrior protecting family and land
It is a victim, falling prey to the hunter
It is a... lion.

Your Turn

If you'd like your work to be considered for publication in a future book, please email your entry to info@youngwritersusa.com along with your name, age and address.

Happy writing!