Search 'n Spell
Can students find this week's spelling words in this bulletin-board word search puzzle?
Use this bulletin board to reinforce the spelling words of the week. Each of the week's words is hidden someplace in this bulletin-board sized word search puzzle. Call out a spelling word, hand a student a pointer stick, and ask her/him to point out the sequential letters that correctly spell the word.
For further reinforcement, you might provide a printed version of the puzzle so students can practice finding the week's words on their own after you have done it as a class or small-group activity.
This is an especially useful tool for reinforcing spelling with students who are visual and tactile learners.
Do you have a software package that enables you to create word search puzzles? If not, there are many free online tools that will do that for you. You might take a look at a couple of those tools:
Puzzlemaker: Word Search Tool
Instant Online Word Search Maker
Simply type your words of the week into the tool, press the Submit button, and -- voila! -- a completed puzzle!
If you teach primary-grade students it is best to keep puzzles simple. Puzzles should not exceed 10 or 12 columns and rows. Pencil in on your bulletin board the 10- or 12- square grid in order to make weekly letter placement easy.
If you teach older students, you might present puzzles with as many as 20 columns and rows; or you might start the year at 12 and build gradually through the year to 20. Of course this will entail drawing out multiple grids so you can post a different grid on the bulletin board as you expand the puzzle.
Creating this bulletin-board word search adds one more weekly task to your plate. But it is the perfect task for a parent volunteer who can come in to switch out puzzles every Friday afternoon or Monday morning. Or, once you have posted the first couple of puzzles, you could make this one of your "class jobs." Each week, a different pair of students could be responsible for building the puzzle of the week. Simply give them a printout of the puzzle from the puzzle-making tool and let them tack the letters in place on the grid that is penciled in on the bulletin board.
You will need to have on hand a large supply of cut-out letters. Creating them is another activity for which you might enlist a parent volunteer; it's the perfect job for a working mother or father who can do this task at home. If you teach younger kids, the letters should all be the same color; choose a bright color so the bulletin-board looks lively. With older students, letters of many bright colors can be used. These simple alphabet templates might be useful.
MORE RESOURCES FROM EDUCATION WORLD
Find more bulletin board ideas in our Bulletin Boards That Teach Archive.
See these articles about bulletin boards:
From "Pretty" to Practical: Using Bulletin Boards to Teach
Your Search for Bulletin Board Ideas Is Over
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