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Creative Uses for Textbooks
Crossword Mania

Conducting the Activity
(with students who know how to create puzzles)

Take what follows as a suggestion.  Feel free to modify it in any way you think appropriate given the group with which you work.  I leave the time allotment to you.  You know best how long it will take your group to complete a given task, and whether it is best done in class where you can observe and help, or as an out of class assignment.

  1. Divide the class into pairs for the activity.

  1. Make a textbook reading assignment to be completed by the entire class.

  2. After completing the reading, have each pair pick a puzzle topic.   (You may choose to assign topics if you find that works better with your group.)

  1. Specify the minimum number of words that you will accept for the puzzle.

  2. Set the class to work creating puzzles.  You can give the pairs class time to do the work, make it a homework assignment, or both.  One big advantage in allowing class time for this assignment is that it gives you the opportunity to watch students work, answer questions, give advice, etc.

  3. Collect the finished puzzles (including a key for each).   Review/grade them for spelling and accuracy.

  4. Instead of the traditional reading quiz, try one of the following.

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original web posting: Monday, September 14, 1998
last modified: Friday, July 04, 2003