Sending you all good wishes in these strange and difficult times.

I know that we’re all moving to online learning, and there are a gazillion wonderful online resources out there. However, for those of you whose learners don’t have internet access, or don’t even own a smartphone, here is Easy ESL Wordfind Challenge: available as either a book or as a printable that offers a fun, independent, ‘extra English’ activity.

Why Word Searches?

I’d been wanting to create some ‘international’ resources, especially something that could be a print on demand book for students, but also available as a printable download for teachers. 

I decided to start off with some puzzles – something for fun and reinforcement, used independently, that wouldn’t look so much like ‘study’, but would provide that extra input that’s so useful for beginners.

So this first resource is a beginner word search book. I wanted this to look like the puzzle booklets you find on a newsagent’s shelves, but for beginning or literacy learners who may never have done word puzzles before. 

My goals

In particular, I wanted to scaffold the word search process, use lower case where possible (for word recognition) and an easy-read font. I also wanted to give all these books an ‘adult’ look, rather than looking like something for young children.

There are seven scaffolded levels, with nine puzzles at each level: Across only, Across and Down, New Puzzle Shapes, Fancy Fonts, Intersecting Across and Down, Across, Down and Diagonal, and Big Puzzles. The diagonal words are in a South-East direction only, to reinforce the left-right direction of English. 

This first book (or download) is this one that’s now available, and I’m working on other levels.

Where to find it

Here’s where to find it:

  1. On Teachers Pay Teachers (where you will need to sign up, if you haven’t already). It’s called Easy ESL Wordfind Challenge: Beginner Word Search Puzzles. You’ll see that there’s a free download of sample puzzles, as well as the complete book (it’s 104 pages, but of course some of those are answers). If you print it for students (or bits of it), don’t include the first 4 pages, as they’re just teacher notes.
  2. It’s also available as a paperback book on Amazon, simply called Easy ESL Wordfind Challenge: Beginner (same puzzles, different answers!). The sample pages for this version are right here on this site – click the download button below!
There are 65 full page puzzles in the book – download the sample to take a look…

Anything else?

Anything else to tell you? Because it’s ‘international’, there are a few places where I point out the difference between US and British English (color/colour).

Oh, and I use the term ‘ESL’ to mean ‘English as a Settlement Language’ (thanks, Karen Barber), but of course the puzzles could equally be useful for international students.

My plan is to do more of these booklets, with more puzzle variety, and in particular the need for students to do something to show understanding as well as accuracy. I’ll keep you posted! You can also check the Wordfinds page on my site.

Please stay safe and well…