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1.1 Jabberwocky  

downloadable worksheet


Read this selection from “Jabberwocky,” a poem by Lewis Carroll, in Through the Looking Glass:


Twas brillig and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.


“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious bandersnatch!”


He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the manxone foe he sought –

So rested he by the tumtum tree

And stood a while in thought.


And as in uffish thought he stood

The Jabberwock with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

and burbled as it came.


For each underlined word, indicate its part of speech (word class). Explain to each other how you can figure out the parts of speech. You shouldn’t rely on meaning (it’s a thing, it’s an action) since most of these words are nonsense words. You will need to figure out what part of speech they are based upon what suffixes and prefixes they take (their morphology), along with where they appear relative to other words (their syntax).


Teacher Notes: See also this lesson on TeachLing with a similar approach to parts of speech.



key words: parts of speech, morphology, syntax


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1a: Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences. 


Here is this lesson as a pdf.

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