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Creative Uses for Textbooks

Crossword Mania

In this activity you'll show your students how to create crossword puzzles; instruct them to do so using information from their texts; then sit back and watch their creative juices flow.

  1. What you'll need before you start
  1. Conducting the activity
  1. For tools to help you build professional looking puzzles, take a look at these software programs and their associated web sites
  1. If you're looking for something a crossword devotee might enjoy reading, why not suggest A Clue for the Puzzle Lady by Parnell Hall (Bantam Doubleday Dell 1999).  It is a mystery novel whose protagonist creates crossword puzzles for a living, while using her skills to solve murders too.  To read an excerpt, click here.  For a list of all the books in this series, click here.
  2. The New York Times Learning Network has produced an extensive collection of crossword puzzles on a variety of topics.
  3. Here is a crossword puzzle I created with Internet Crossword Creator.  I found the individuals that make it up in Michael Hart's The 100 a ranking of the most influential persons in history (1978, revised 1992).  To learn more about them, and why he considers them, rather than others, the MOST influential, take a look at the book.

    To print one of the files, follow these instructions.  After clicking its link, you should see the file you selected in a standalone browser window without a header.  Once you do, click your browser's Print Button on the Toolbar above (for the .PDF files, click the print button on the Acrobat toolbar). After the file has printed, close the standalone window to return to this page.

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original web posting: Monday, September 14, 1998
last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009