This is a very well-known nonsense poem from Lewis Carroll’s classic Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. A number of different interpretations exist and these can be interesting to compare. In the story, Humpty Dumpty provides some explanations for the invented words (Carroll is often considered to have first coined the terms ‘chortle’ and ‘galumphing’).
This poem is great for teaching clarifying skills and to instigate discussion on etymology. Teachers may wish to follow this with the study of poem that includes challenging ‘real’ words, e.g. The Tyger by William Blake.
Focus: read texts from our literary heritage, clarify words from the context and syntax, prepare and perform using intonation, tone and volume.