Sunday, April 19, 2020

Word Searches


Word searches are puzzles many kids enjoy.  They are a good way to practice words they know while developing their visual discrimination skills.   


Traditionally, players put a long loop around each word as they find it.  However, this creates a lot of confusing lines on the puzzle by the time the player gets down to the last few words.  This is especially true for beginning readers and individuals who have poor visual discrimination skills.  


What I have my students do instead is draw a single line to hook all the letters of a word together.  This reduces the busy-ness on the page compared to the loop method.  It is particularly helpful for spelling word searches.  They say each letter aloud as they hook the letters together.

 I use word searches frequently in my Sunday School class of first through third graders.  After I've taught the lesson, we do the search together.  A student explains what the first word in the word bank has to do with our lesson.  Then everyone searches for it.  They continue taking turns until our lesson is recapped by completing the puzzle.  This review method is adaptable to any content area.

In the past I've always used Puzzle Maker to create the word searches I need.  It offers options for making your word searches.  Additionally, it has several different kinds of puzzles, like math squares, mazes, cryptograms and more.

Just this week I learned of another free source of word searches, Word Search Wizard.  They have a featured word search--right now it's a spring season search.  There are quite a few themed searches on many topics in their Word Search Library ready to run off and use.  You can also custom make a word search to fit your exact needs.  I like the fact you can choose to save your puzzles if you plan to use them again.

There are even free online word searches, like Pro Profs.


Choose a site.  Play on a hard copy or online.  Ready, set, search!


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