- Arts & Humanities
Students define 4-5 words, create crossword puzzles with a free online tool, and then share their puzzles for review
- define vocabulary words using print or online dictionaries;
- create crossword puzzles with those words and definitions; and
- share their puzzles with peers for review.
- Dictionaries (online or print)
- Pen and paper (or word processing software)
- Internet access
Prior to this lesson, students should know how to navigate Web sites and how to print from a computer.
Begin the lesson by demonstrating for students the steps below; they'll complete the steps on their own later:
- Write on the chalkboard four words from a previous week's vocabulary list.
- Use a print or online dictionary to define each word.
If using an online dictionary (such as Merriam-Webster),
be aware that each online dictionary targets a different user and reading level. Be sure your students can understand
the definitions at the site you're using.
- Using a TV monitor or projector, display your computer's desktop to students.
- Go to Puzzlemaker.com.
- Select from the drop-down menu "Criss-Cross puzzle".
- Under Step 1, type "Spelling Words for [today's date] by [your name]," filling in the bracketed information.
- Skip Steps 2 and 3.
- Under Step 4, type one of the spelling words on the chalkboard, hit the space bar once, and type the word's definition.
Hit Enter or Return.
- Type the second word on the chalkboard, add a space, and then type the definition.
- Repeat the same steps for words 3 and 4.
- Click "Create My Puzzle!" You now should see a short printable crossword puzzle!
Note: Discovery School's Puzzlemaker site gets a lot of traffic during the school day, so don't be surprised
if you need to hit the Back button and click the Create My Puzzle! button several times before a puzzle appears.
- Print two copies of the puzzle -- one to be used as the solvable puzzle; the other to be filled out and saved
as an answer key.
Arrange students into groups of 4-5, and assign each group a different set of four vocabulary words. Then have students follow the above steps to create their own puzzles. This activity can be completed in a computer lab or a single-computer classroom, either individually, in groups, or as a whole class activity.
Students will be assessed on their
- ability to look up -- and write down -- definitions of assigned vocabulary words.
- ability to use an online crossword puzzle tool.
- time management skills.
Lesson Plan Source
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills