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Twisters - A Tornado on Your Tongue



Twisters - A Tornado on Your Tongue
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.57

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    alliteration-the, baygy, chock-full, diction, freezy, fumblers, gibberish, hiccuping, keener, rugger, performers, wizard, difficulty, twister, nonsense, bubby
     content words:    Peter Piper, Say Can You Say, Can You Say, From Fox, Second Language, Gettysburg Address, Six Sick Sheiks


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Twisters - A Tornado on Your Tongue
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     
"Rubber baby buggy bumpers."

"Freshly fried flying fish."

"She sells sea shells by the sea shore."
 
2     Nearly everyone has tried to say these phrases at one time or another. It should be a snap, we think. The words themselves aren't long or difficult. But when you try to wind your tongue around these simple words, it gets all tangled up. You end up saying things you didn't mean to say. Sometimes what comes out isn't even words, but a bunch of silly sounds that don't make sense: "Rugger baygy bubby bunkers" or some other gibberish.
 
3     We call these phrases tongue twisters. Some tongue twisters are short, like those above. Some are entire poems. A few tongue twister poems are very familiar. We learned them by heart as young children, much like we learned nursery rhymes. The ones we've heard the most often are:

        Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

 
4     The one we likely all learned is:

        How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He'd chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could,
If a woodchuck could chuck wood.

 
5     There are even whole books devoted to tongue twisters. Our favorite word wizard, Dr. Seuss, wrote a book called O Say Can You Say? that is chock-full of twisters. One twister from the book reads:

        As he gobbled the cakes on his plate,
the greedy ape said as he ate,
the greener green grapes are,
the keener keen apes are
to gobble green grape cakes--they're great!

(Taken from O Say Can You Say? by Dr. Seuss)


Paragraphs 6 to 12:
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