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Make Vocabulary Choices: Kennings

In this worksheet, students will examine kennings (a description of something) and consider how they can use them in their own writing.

'Make Vocabulary Choices: Kennings' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 5 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Composition

Curriculum subtopic:   Grammar and Vocabulary Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

A kenning is a way of describing something without using its name. It usually consists of two words that describe a feature of the noun (the person, animal or object) being described.


a monkey

Tree swinger



Web maker


A kenning poem consists of several kennings describing the same noun. It is a bit like a riddle, as the reader has to work out what is being described.


What do you think this kenning poem describes?


Mouse catcher

Milk drinker

Paw licker

Bird scarer

Wool chaser

Night howler.


Did you work out that it is a cat?


cat licking whiskers


Kennings were used a lot in Old English and Norse poetry and there are many examples in the famous Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.


Norse hero


Let's have a go at the questions now.

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