How to Create Word Searches? Find-a-Words? Wonder Words? Spelling Puzzles

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Reading Games Homepage - You are herefree reading games Reading Room Two - Wordsearch Puzzle Creation

Summary: Wordsearch puzzle creation has never been easier. Just check out the 'tips and tricks' I learnt over the years then visit a puzzle creation website. You and your students will be creating puzzles to aid spelling skills in no time.
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Find a Word
Get Students Making Their Own Word Searches
Word Search

Ideas for the activities:

Have the children create a find-a-word puzzle:

* from their spelling words.
* on vocabulary associated with an area of study
* at home using this website with a parent or carer
* on a story or novel they are reading
* for their friends to solve
* for another class in the school
* as a learning centre activity
* from a collection of individual speeling mistakes ;)
* from a word family they are focusing on.

Tips I've Discovered Over the Years -

* Have the children compose their list of words in a word processor and use the spell check. Once this is complete copy the words into the puzzle creation interface. You'll save heaps of hassles this way :)
* Set the type of puzzle to TEXT so you can copy & paste it into a word processor. That way you have a bit more control over the formatting.
* DON'T change the font as the letters won't line up. You can change the size.
* Show the site to the teachers at your school..
* Set a word limit ie Your puzzle must contain at least 10 words and no more than 15 that YOU NEED TO WORK ON. This way the kids can identify their own spelling areas of concern.
* Have the students print out the answers to make marking easier.
* Compose a puzzle together on a data projector or interactive whiteboard to model the process.
* Have the children decide on a puzzle made with this software that can be printed in the school newsletter or uploaded to the school Intranet or Internet site.
* Have a friend read the puzzle onscreen before printing to spot simple errors.
* Have the students enter their name in the title of the puzzle.
* 20 by 20 is not a bad size.

Puzzle Maker Website Welcome ... and here is the website Puzzle Maker

Huge Discussions to have with students -

* How do we ensure this type of activity improves Spelling rather than simply being 'pointless busy work'

* What skills and strategies does a student need to learn well with a Wordsearch puzzle?

* Do wordsearches work for you as a spelling strategy? Why or why not?

* When you are completing a word search is it beneficial in learning to spell to help each other or do the work individually?

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