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  • Arts & Humanities
  • Educational Technology


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

This lesson combines students' love of word games and drawing to promote critical thinking.



  • explore word and picture puzzle techniques.
  • interpret word and picture puzzles.
  • create word and picture puzzles.


words, puzzle, drawing, game, vocabulary

Materials Needed

  • computers with Internet access (optional)
  • chalkboard and chalk or large paper and marker
  • tips for rebus puzzles (available online)
  • sample word and picture puzzles (available online)
  • paper and pencils

Lesson Plan

Word and picture puzzles are fun, educational, and well received by students. "Droodles" are picture puzzles that may be interpreted with words in many different ways. There is no single correct answer with a droodle -- every reasonable response is as acceptable as the next!

To get started with this activity, introduce your students to the droodle with the Exploratorium's The Meaning of Droodles page. If you prefer, you may print this page and use the information as the basis for instruction.

Draw some sample droodles on the board or on large paper so that all members of the class can view them, and have your students share their ideas about what the pictures may mean. (If you plan to leave this lesson behind for a substitute teacher, you might print off a handful of droodles from the archive to leave behind with this lesson.) Then give students time to create a droodle and have the class or a few partners attempt to interpret it.

Extension activities:
Using IMOK. UROK. from the Exploratorium, have your students write conversations in puzzle form. They may even illustrate the conversations as cartoons. Everyone will enjoy finding the meanings behind these unique puzzles.


The teacher may collect student work (original droodles and picture/word puzzles) for evaluation. All satisfactory student-created puzzles must be appropriate for the classroom and be representative of the puzzles introduced in the lesson. The teacher will also observe students as they work together in exchanging and solving puzzles.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts

Return to the Teacher Appreciation Week lesson plan.

See more lessons for substitute teachers in Education World's Sub Station.