Thursday, July 5, 2012


A rhyming word game

A co-worker and I were discussing how our students get stuck on paraphrasing sometimes because they can''t think of other ways to say words. So they just move words around but can't put them in their own words. One of my solutions is a game I play with students called Inky Pink. It goes like this:

What's Inky Pinky for a silly rabbit? A funny bunny?

What's Inkity Pinkity for a scary flash of light in a storm? Frightening Lightening

What's Ink Pink for an entertaining religious woman? A fun nun

Can you figure out how to play the game?

Often I don't tell my students the rules I just start giving them clues and seeing if we can come up with answers. Eventually they get the hang of it and then I ask the ones that do to explain it to the class. 

If you haven't guessed yet these are the rules: You describe something (using synonyms or descriptions) that can be answered in two words normally with matching syllables. To tell how many syllables it is you use Ink Pink (one syllable-one syllable: fun nun), Inky Pinky (two syllables-two syllables: funny-bunny), Inkity Pinkity(three syllables-three syllables: frightening lightening).

Traditionally the syllables need to match, but I tend to make it more diverse by allowing each word to have different syllables.
What's Inky Pink for a solitary duplicate (two syllables-one syllable) alone-clone.

You can also do it with pictures:
 What's Ink Pink for: a fat cat

Once students get the hang of it there are tons of applications. Off the top of my head I have used it to fill up some extra time, to practice paraphrasing or to review vocab.

For example these are some vocabulary words I use from Ray Bradbury's All Summer in a Day: Pleading, Tidal, Slacken., Avalanche, Savor, Suspend, Frail, Cluster, Peer, Glance, Whisper, Seize, Stake, Bore, Seek

What's ink pink for a brief look that happened by luck: A Chance Glance
What's ink pink for a weird look: a Queer Peer
What's inky-pinky for asking for something a lot and is losing a lot of blood: a Bleeding Pleading

Students can come up with their own and try to guess other student's ink-pinks.

I have a packet for All Summer in a Day at Teachers Pay Teachers that includes some ink pink worksheets. It is only $1.50! If you aren't a member of TPT yet you can sign up for free here

I learned that these were ink-pinks, but others have called them hink-pinks or hinky-pinkys If you are slow to make your own there are some books and games to help you out:

Do you remember playing this game when you were younger? What's your favorite ink-pink? How would you use this in the classroom? Or why not?


  1. Thanks for stopping by...I've always loved word games and actually remember doing these in high school. Couldn't wait to pass them on to my kids.

    1. I had forgotten about them until I started teaching. One of my favorite parts of teaching is remembering childhood games :)

  2. I really like the idea of using pictures. Great idea!

    1. I try to have visuals in every activity. I am not a visual thinker, but I know my students may be!

  3. We always called the game "Fat Cat." I like the syllable clues of "inky pinky." I've created several lists of fun inky pinkys - here's one:

    1. I LOVE that name! "Fat Cat" makes so much sense, and your list looks great! Thanks for sharing.


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