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Back to Word Wall Lesson Plan

Mind Reader


  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts


  • PreK
  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Students use clues to narrow down a "mystery word."


Students will

  • practice using words on the classroom word wall (or a vocabulary or spelling list).
  • use clues to narrow down the possibilities.


word wall, vocabulary, spelling, mystery word, game

Materials Needed


  • scrap paper; a mini whiteboard, or a mini chalkboard.
  • writing implement (pencil, marker, or chalk)
  • list of word wall, vocabulary, or spelling words with clues to help students guess them (see Examples in Lesson Plan below)

Lesson Plan

In this game, students use clues to figure out a "mystery word" that appears on the classroom word wall.

Provide each student with a small piece of paper; this is a great activity for recycling some of that scrap paper you have been collecting.


Alternate idea: If you use mini-whiteboards or chalkboards in your classroom, this is an excellent opportunity to use them.

Have students number their papers or whiteboard from 1 to 5. Then select a "mystery word" from the word wall (or vocabulary or spelling lists) and give five successive clues to help students identify the word. Each successive clue should help students further narrow down the words on the word wall to the special mystery word. As you give each clue, students should select one word from the word wall that matches all the clues given to that point in the game. The last clue should be the most obvious one.


Mystery Word: puppy
Clue 1: The mystery word is one of our word wall words.
Clue 2: The mystery word has two syllables.
Clue 3: The mystery word has five letters.
Clue 4: The mystery word has three letters that are all the same.
Clue 5: The mystery word will complete this statement: My father bought a new _____ at the pet store.

Mystery Word: pollution
Clue 1: The mystery word is one of our word wall words.
Clue 2: The mystery word has more than six letters.
Clue 3: The mystery word has three syllables.
Clue 4: The mystery word ends with the suffix -tion.
Clue 5: The mystery word rhymes with the word solution.

After you have given the five clues, have students show their papers or slates. Which student(s) guessed the mystery word with the fewest possible clues?


Each student who guesses the correct word at the earliest possible clue earns a point. Tally points at the end of the game to determine which students are the winners.

Lesson Plan Source

Shari Medley (adapted from an unknown original source)

Submitted By

Shari Medley; Shari also contributed to the Education World article, Teachers Say Word Walls Work!

National Standards

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

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