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Do you consider yourself a word nerd? Try these literacy challenges

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Do you consider yourself a word nerd? Try these literacy challenges

When it comes to the English language, there’s always more to discover and learn. After you’ve done this quiz yourself, why not take some of these fun challenges to your classroom and see how your students fare?

  1. Name four words in the English language that end in the letters dous.

  2. Several English words end in the letters mpt such as prompt, attempt and contempt, but which word ends in the letters mt?

  3. Which animal names contain u for the phoneme /w/ (as in web), but do not contain q immediately beforehand?

  4. Where on your body would you find lunula?

  5. Name at least 10 capital letters in the English alphabet with a vertical line of symmetry.

  6. Which body part has the phoneme /ng/ (as in ring) represented by a quadgraph?

  7. What is the most commonly used letter in the English language?

  8. Which word did Shakespeare not add to the English language: addiction, swagger or snark?

  9. Name a six-letter English word which has its letters in alphabetical order.

  10. From which language do the words platypus and octopus originate?

Answers:
1. horrendous, stupendous, hazardous, tremendous
2. dreamt
3. penguin, iguana
4. Fingernails and toenails! The little moon-shaped section at the base of each nail is called a lunula. The word is Latin meaning little moon.
5. A, H, I, M, O, T, V, W, X and Y (Answers may vary depending on font type.)
6. tongue
7. the letter e
8. Snark. While Shakespeare invented more than 1000 words now used in everyday speech, snark was coined by Lewis Carroll in his poem The Hunting of the Snark.
9. Possible answers include: almost, begins, biopsy, chimps and chintz.
10. Greek. Fun fact: The root pous means foot. Platy means flat, therefore platypus means flat feet. Octo means eight, therefore octopus means eight feet.

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