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Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Break from the Eleven Plus

It is a sad part of the eleven plus that humour is stifled. The majority of eleven plus questions are not really designed to raise a smile. Answers have to be right or wrong – there is no place for shades of grey.

I am sure children would enjoy an exercise that stimulated a smile.

There was an old man of Khartoum
Who kept a dead sheep in his room.
“To remind me,” he said,
“Of someone who’s dead,
“But …..

The actual final line reads:
“But I can never remember whom.”

A different rhyme is about Mr Jones.

“There has been an accident,” they said,
“Your servant’s cut in half; he’s dead!”
“Indeed!” said Mr Jones, “and please
Send me the half that’s got my keys,”

It could make a pleasant break from the formality of papers if elements of the eleven plus looked at offering children the opportunity to think and enjoy a laugh.

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