Wednesday, February 21, 2018

“Last Letter-First Letter” Word Chain: Word Maze, Word Daze, Super Word Daze (kids to make a puzzle to be solved)

“Word chain, also known as Grab on Behind, Last and First, Alpha and Omega, and The Name Game is a word game in which players come up with words that begin with the letter or letters that the previous word ended with. A category of words is usually chosen, there is a time limit such as five seconds and words may not be repeated in the same game. An example chain for food would be: Soup - Peas - Sugar - Rice.”

Taking this format and putting it on graph paper instead of verbalizing it (and perhaps dropping the use of categories) is a good fun puzzle making exercise for strengthening spelling, printing and word recognition skills in younger learners in the classroom or home schooling situations. Using appropriate grade level word lists as spelling guide and source material is beneficial. Xerox or print out multiple copies of the word list that is appropriate. 

Word Maze —  using pencil, on a sheet of graph paper, from your word list neatly print a word horizontally in the center of the page and bracket in the first letter. Scratch out, circle or underline that word on your word list (to encourage puzzle maker to eventually use all of the words on the list). Younger puzzle makers might need to use all capital letters in order to print more neatly. Now, using the last letter of that word as the first letter of the next word, print in a new word either vertically going down, vertically goin up or horizontally. Using the last letter of this new word, go either vertically or horizontally. No diagonals are allowed. Words can be spelled horizontally or vertically in either direction. You may not cross or overlap any other word. Keep repeating this process in til the page is full. 
[If you want to use this as a ‘word find’ challenge puzzle, let students make an answer key by writing down the words in sequence. Then fill in the empty squares with random letters from the alphabet. Xerox copies of the master puzzle for the ‘puzzle solvers’. They should use pencil to lightly shade in the word maze.]

Word Daze — Is like Word Maze, except that crossing and overlapping other words is okay. This is a more difficult puzzle to make and solve.

Super Word Daze — Is like Word Daze, except that diagonals are permitted additionally.