Students decode and translate spoonerisms in a play entitled "Beeping Sleauty." Using creativity and imagination, they write an original play using spoonerisms.
Why is this an important concept?
Decoding spoonerisms allows students to develop a familiarity with sounds and sound blends in words. Decoding words by their use in a sentence or in a phrase helps students develop comprehension skills and confidence in understanding how language is written and used.
(2) 50-minute periods
- Beeping Sleauty play transcript
- Beeping Sleauty Spoonerism Decoding handout
- Writing a Spoonerism play handout
- Spoonerism rubric
Part I: Learning Activity
2. Then write the words "Beeping Sleauty" on the board or on an overhead projector. Explain that these words together are an example of a spoonerism. Note: A spoonerism is when the initial sounds of two words are interchanged resulting in a funny or ludicrous meaning.
3. Ask students to decode the phrase "Beeping Sleauty." Write their responses on the board. Ask them to decide which letters and corresponding sounds of each word have been transposed. Underline the letters in each word that have been switched.
4. Play the first clip which is a short introduction to spoonerisms. Then ask students to suggest a few spoonerisms just as the Zoom Kids have modeled in the clip and write them on the board.
5. Tell students they are going to watch a clip of the Zoom Players performing a play called "Beeping Sleauty." Tell them it is a spoonerism play and they will have to listen carefully to understand the language spoken. While they watch the clip, ask them to listen for words that sound like examples of spoonerisms. Play the second clip, "Beeping Sleauty."
6. Ask students to share some spoonerisms they remembered from the clip. Write both the spoonerism and translation on the board.
7. Place students in pairs. Distribute the Beeping Sleauty Play Transcript and the Beeping Sleauty Spoonerism Decoding handout. Tell students they are going to decode word combinations that are written as spoonerisms. Ask students to read the transcript handout to help decode the word combinations on the Beeping Sleauty Spoonerism Decoding handout.
For students who need additional teacher guidance:
1. Write "bery vad," "nappy hews" and "parling drincess" on the board. Ask students to read each word combination aloud. Ask them which letters they think have been exchanged.
2. Show how "bery vad" translates to "very bad." Model the decoding for each example and other word combinations on the handout as needed.
3. Ask students to complete the Beeping Sleauty Spoonerism Decoding Sheet on their own.
Part II: Assessment
1.Distribute the Writing a Spoonerism play handout . Tell students they are going to write an original play using spoonerisms. Remind them that their play has to have characters, a setting and that they must decide what the play is going to be about just as if they were writing a story. Note: if necessary, review and identify character, plot and setting with students before beginning the assessment.
2. Ask students to first write the play without spoonerisms.
3. Next, ask students to underline phrases or words they want to turn into spoonerisms and then transpose the letters as a second step.
4. Groups of students can perform completed plays.
5. As an alternative, you may choose to select a familiar fairytale, play or story and ask students to create a spoonerized version.
Portfolio: The Beeping Sleauty Spoonerism Decoding handoutand the Writing a Spoonerism Play handout can be placed in a student's portfolio as an example of skill acquisition.