How to Make Word Search Puzzles

Written by dawn r. levesque
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How to Make Word Search Puzzles
Word search puzzle (Dawn R. Levesque)

Word search puzzles are popular for all ages. For students, it is a skill builder. Teachers use word search puzzles to make learning entertaining. Online, word search generators have evolved. Just insert words, symbols or numbers, and clues, then enter. The word search generator randomly creates the puzzle. It is another handy tool for parents and teachers, so compile your list of words and clues and get started.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Graph paper
  • Computer
  • Dictionary or thesaurus

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  1. 1

    Choose a category for the word search puzzle. Popular subject matter includes animals and pets, books and literature, movies and television shows, travel, sports, people, history, vocabulary words, foreign language and numbers. Get creative and produce something unique. Pick a holiday theme, flora or unusual facts and trivia.

  2. 2

    Define the size or shape of the grid. It can be a traditional square or rectangle or more creatively a shape of the chosen category. Select words, numbers, or symbols that the word search puzzle will have. Arrange them forward, diagonal or backwards. Exclude parts of the words or numbers. Later, the player can fill in the blanks for more challenging skill levels.

  3. 3

    Position words or numbers on the grid in the format you prefer. Fill in the empty squares (around the key words) with random letters, numbers, or symbols as appropriate. Put the player to the test by using portions of the hidden words but not completely. Make a key with clues. Clues can be description, fill in the blank, antonym, synonym, or a math problem. Gear the word search toward the age of the player. Plug the information into a word document and print.

  4. 4

    Use an online word search generator. Depending on the format, type in the category words, usual minimum of 10 words. Press "Enter" and the program randomly formulates the word search puzzle for you. Written below or to the right of the puzzle are the word clues. Use in the same way as traditional methods. Languages offered in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. Catering to varying levels of difficulty. In addition, a Special Education format is available.

  5. 5

    Create a word search puzzle online with an advanced site that displays more options (see Resources). This site not only allows the individual to choose words and grid size, but it offers colour options, size of font, format options and puzzle descriptions. This is an impressive site for the advanced or more exploratory puzzle maker.

Tips and warnings

  • Make word search puzzles to help with following directions.
  • Practice listening skills by reading clues aloud to the class
  • Give a set a directions rather than one word clue. Student will find correct word or fill in a blank for answer to search.
  • Leave clues blank and have students find words first.

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