Puzzles, how to create (the easy way)

I firmly believe (and my pupils seem to agree) that crosswords are an excellent way of revising or checking knowledge. So I like to make them as lesson starters, mainly during GCSE revision time. Normally I would use one of the many free puzzle generators you can find online (for example this one) but I wanted one I could use on the iPad, especially as I find the websites quite tricky to use without a mouse.

I started off trying out an app called Tekasi, which was free. I found it quite frustrating. You had to decide on the shape of your crossword before you started inputting any words. This meant carefully planning out my crossword on a piece of paper first. Also you couldn’t edit a puzzle once you had generated it, this meant lots of re entering data.

I found a recommendation on another education technology blog (although I am embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember which one, I will research and try to update with a link later). It has the rather wordy title of ‘Make My Own Puzzles‘, and it did cost money (although not very much) but I was very impressed.

It has a very simple easy to use interface and can make either wordsearches or crosswords. You simply enter in the words you wish to use (with a clue if you want to make a crossword).

Then you simply generate your puzzle. It works out the best placement for the words, and if you don’t like the layout, you can generate it again for a different layout. Something I particularly liked was the ability to go back and edit the puzzle. Adding more words, tweaking clues etc. was very easy.

The finished puzzle can be easily exported as a PDF, PNG OR JPEG. You can even open it from the app into things like Goodreader, OpenOffice or iBooks. The puzzle also comes in 3 formats, standard crossword, crossword with initial letter clues and a completed crossword.

So if you also believe in crosswords, then I recommend ‘Make My Own Puzzles’. Or if you have a puzzle generator recommendation, then I would love to hear it.

 

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4 Responses to Puzzles, how to create (the easy way)

  1. sharechair says:

    Puzzles are a wonderful opportunity for some “disguised learning”! Making puzzles can also be fun for personal events……… for example, making a puzzle all about a particular person for his/her milestone birthday. Thanks for this!

    • kati0705 says:

      I find it amazing how competitive my pupils become, trying to see who can finish it first. But when they recall the words and use it correctly later in the lesson, it shows that it does help them learn!

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