Announcing a second book of word search puzzles: ESL Word Search Plus: Post-Beginner.
Why puzzles? Well, many of us have discovered the calming nature of activities that need focus plus a certain level of repetition: jigsaws, knitting, puzzles of any kind – and word puzzles have extra value for our students because they require focus on the composition of words.
An obsession with puzzle books
If you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know I’ve had a long-term obsession with those word puzzle books you find at the newsagent, having used them with ABE learners. I even wrote to That’s Life! asking if they could do a Beginner English version. (They were so nice, but couldn’t help.)
That’s when I created Extra Easy Puzzles and Workwise English Puzzles, which have lots of different puzzle types. I’d love to do more books like that, but there’s a huge amount of illustration and design work needed. In contrast, these word search puzzles are something fun I can create myself (providing me with my own ‘jigsaw puzzle-like’ calming activity), and they can be provided in digital format.
Word Search books for English language learners
The first word search book, Easy ESL Wordfind Challenge, was simple scaffolded wordfinds. I know people worry that these are ‘busy work’, but they’re actually a challenge for learners with no previous experience of literacy, or of literacy in our left-to-right script.
This next book, ESL Word Search Plus, has more language activity. Students may have to categorise the words they find, find the past tense rather than the word they see, or match the two halves of a compound word before they find it in the puzzle. There are different fonts, to support font recognition, and puzzle difficulty increases from across and down, across and down intersecting, to including diagonal words (but still only towards the south-east, to reinforce the left-right direction of English). There are also some ‘hidden messages’ in some of the puzzles.
Where to find the printable versions
I wanted these books to be available internationally, so the print-on-demand paperback versions are on Amazon (though postal options are limited in the current situation). However, the printable versions on Teachers Pay Teachers are always available.
Navigating Teachers Pay Teachers
Just be aware that when you go to my TPT store, you’ll see two free downloads, which are samples for each book, as well as the full versions (which are paid downloads).
You do have to join TPT to download even the freebies. When you print the full resource for students (or bits of it), you don’t need to include the first 4 pages, as they are teacher notes.
Happy teaching, whatever form it takes right now. Hoping that things in your world are heading in a good direction–and that there are good times ahead.