Word searches sometimes get a bad wrap. I even had an elementary principal that banned them from our campus all together. Yikes!
I do agree that word searches can sometimes just be a “time filler”… but, really sometimes the time just has to be filled. True, but just kidding. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of copying a word search out of a teacher’s edition or even the teacher making them on website and then printing for students.
Completing word searches with a purpose is all together different!
For the most part, I use “student created” word searches. I give students blank word search templates. The kiddos will create their word lists and then hide the words. At another time, I allow students to trade the word searches and complete them.
There are times that students will make the list of words all on their own, like if they are pulling important vocabulary words from a nonfiction text. Or, sometimes I provide my students with the word list, such as their weekly spelling words. Using word search templates is one of my very favorite ways for students to practice spelling words.
Students just LOVE doing a friend’s word search. Typically, I have students finish a friend’s word search when they have extra time or on Friday mornings. They seriously look forward to this all week!!
Word search templates can be used in so many different ways, and work with just about ANY WORD LIST!
11 Ways to Use Student Created Word Searches in Your Classroom:
- After reading a piece of nonfiction text, students will choose the most important words from the text and add them to a word search
- Word patterns / word study
- Use words from Word Wall
- Students use their weekly spelling list to hide words
- Use the main characters from a story and students write a list of character traits; use the list in the word search template
- Sight words or high frequency words
- Textbook vocabulary word study
- Students make a list of words about a certain holiday or season to use in the word search
- Noun, verb, adjective, proper nouns, etc. word search
- Compound words
- Rhyming word search
Need some word search templates for your classroom? Grab your FREE word search templates.
Now, if you would rather students create their word searches digitally, you can try out these websites:
How do you use word searches in your classroom? Please leave me a note in the comments below.