Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun Nonsense! ;-)


 This silly little guy makes me think of the "Jubjub bird" :)
(Directions for this kid's craft are found further down in this post )

The "Jabberwocky" and similar nonsense has cropped up unexpectedly in my life in the last couple of days. Since I loved this poem, and the idea of nonsense writing when I was first introduced to it in grade school. I decided something must be telling me to include it here.

 Incidently the same great teacher read the whole of  "The Hobbit" by J.R. Tolkien out loud to our fifth grade class as well - using wonderfully improvised voices for each of the charecters.
Even now, I can still almost hear him reciting the poem below:


’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

~ Lewis Carroll 
Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

My boyfriend is good at making up nonsense phrases. I'm a bird watcher and when we first met he didn't know the names of many birds. I would mention them off-hand, calling them by their common scientific names and he began immitating me saying "Oh, look! There's a purple puffing sadle sucker!" or whatever... he still does this at times just to make me laugh, even though by now he knows the correct name of many more local birds.

Garden Path Sentences

Another interesting kind of writing is the Garden Path Sentence. It isn't actually nonsense writing, but it seems like it at first...until you work it out. I find that if I think of them in a 'before and after' way, like some of the phrases on the TV game show "Wheel of Fortune" my mind can start to wrap around them more easily. Some, you might find, are quite complicated and can become confusing, but fun!

A garden path sentence is a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a way that a reader's most likely interpretation will be incorrect; the reader is lured into a parse that turns out to be a dead end.  "Garden path" refers to the saying "to be led down the garden path", meaning "to be misled".

Definition and example taken from

Here's an example:

                   Sentence                           Likely phrase                             Final phrase
The sour drink from the ocean.  The drink that was sour...Those who are sour drink from the ocean.

Now see if you can puzzle these out :)

The prime number few.

The man who hunts ducks out on weekends.

When Fred eats food gets thrown.

Mary gave the child the dog bit a bandaid.

I convinced her children are noisy.

The horse raced past the barn fell.

The man who whistles tunes pianos.

The raft floated down the river sank.

We painted the wall with cracks.

If you'd like to learn more about Garden Path Sentences click here

Now here's the instructions for making Silly Lift-Tailed Darts in a Green-Stripe Tree:

This Eco Art Craft is great for kids. It's affordable since it uses only upcycled materials and a little paint and glue. The Birds are created from the lift-off portion of a plastic coffee cup lid.

I used two hand-made paper beads, one larger oblong one for the body and another rounded one for the head. Using a broken toothpick (that I had applied glue with earlier) as the bird's neck, I glued it into one end of the oblong bead and then poked the other end of the toothpick with glue on it into the side of the rounded bead to attach the head. A pointy beak was made out of orange paper from junk mail and glued into the hole at the lower end of the head. A topnotch was made for the crown of the head out of paper easter basket grass and attched the same way. The body's back was then glued to the coffee cup part, with the wing shaped area near the head.

While letting that dry, I painted an interestng shaped branch from the ground outside with green stripes of acylic paint. While the branch dried, I prepared a peanut butter jar lid to use as a base for the "statue" by poking a hole big enough for the branch to fit tightly into in the center of the lid (kids will need help with this) and then glued another color of paper easter grass to the top of the lid. Once the branch was attached to the base with glue and the bird's were glued onto the tree, I glued a small stone found outside at the base of the tree to add wieght to the base.

Maybe you could make up a nonsense rhyme together with your kids, while working on this imanginative craft projec :)))


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