Puzzlemaker by Discovery Education has been a favourite site of mine for a few years now as it allows anyone to create worksheet puzzles in minutes. You can customise your own word searches, cross-word puzzles, math and other word puzzles very easily and print them out to be used in class. Best of all it is free to use and the puzzles can be made online in minutes based on any topic without having to install any software.
At the end of a topic I occasionally get students to create their own cross word (criss-cross) puzzles online. They need to reflect on the topic just learnt, generate relevant questions and provide one to two word answers. You can usually grasp a good understanding of how much your students have learnt, by the amount of thought which goes into their questions. My students enjoy watching other students in the class try to complete their printed crossword puzzle, which is another good revision task.
You can create a heading for your puzzle, customise the size and then print directly from the discovery education site. However I find the puzzles look quite plain when printed this way. I prefer to copy the completed puzzles with text and then paste it into a Word document or into Adobe Illustrator. You can then add your own images, borders and play around with other aesthetic features. When doing this for word search you need to select courier new as the font to get the puzzle to line up correctly. Some of the puzzles offer options as can be seen below, so you can specify how you want the puzzles to look and what you intend to do with your puzzles.
Do you know of any other good teaching resources? Please share them with other teachers by leaving a comment.
Other useful resources for teachers:
- Wallwisher allows you to collaborate online in real time
- Wordle creates great looking word clouds
- View a great animation about public speaking