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Conundrums

Conundrums are puzzles that involve a pun. I like to use them in my classes is to foster critical thinking and questioning skills. I read a conundrum - perhaps put it on a screen for the class to read - and then allow only yes or no questions to be asked by the class. Sometimes they are so into asking the questions and tryin g to solve the puzzle, that it gets carried away! I never give in and sometimes let it go on for a day or two (no more than 5 minutes of questions per day). After the class gets the idea of conundrums, they usually start to bring in their own - to limited success. So, here's my favorite one: Romeo and Juliette were found dead on the floor. There was water and broken gless near them. How did they die? Remember - yes or no questions only. Answers in a week!

George Warriner

From Martin Gardner's book Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers:

A tramp was walking down a railroad track when he saw a fast express train speeding toward him. Of course he jumped off the track. But before he jumped, he ran ten feet toward the train! Why?

A good starter to get the kids brains thinking!

[ report as inappropriate ] August 21, 2006, 12:00 am


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