I learned Word Circles activity from Chip Schiegel a number of years ago and, based on the "solution" aspect of the task, have called them Word Circle Puzzles ever since.
The basic idea is to take a group of predetermined words and connect them together ending up with a circle - each word is appropriately connected to the word in front of it and the word after it (e.g., compound words, a two-word phrase, two common words that make up one word, etc.)
Here is a new Word Circle Puzzle set up in solution order:
Room, Light, Show, Boat, Club, Soda, Pop, Corn, Field, Gun, Stock, Still (connects to Room)
To make this a team building activity you write out each word on an index card - nice and big. (Of course you could also digitize the words, copy, laminate and cut.) Each participant in your group will need at least one word card (for most variations of play). The easiest set up is simply telling the group to "arrange all the words so they connect to each other forming one big circle - all words need to be used." Then let them at it. As with any team building activity keep an eye out for the dynamics - those great things to talk about.
In the Word Circle Puzzles Kit I developed there are 12 different presentation ideas. Here is another presentation idea I've been trying out. Before handing out the word cards tell participants that they are not allowed to show anyone the word (or words) they possess. Hand out the word cards (no more than two cards per person). Tell the participants they are allowed to tell one other person in the group what word (or words) they possess. This is the only person that is then allowed to tell the group what word is being held by the player they spoke with. Again, word cards are not to be shown to anyone else in the group. Players must be standing in a circle - they believe to be the correct answer - before revealing the word card(s) they are holding. If a player has two word cards they are allowed to give one card away. This variation brings up a lot of good things to talk about.
Here is another new puzzle for you - not in solution order. Have fun.
Start, Form, Lap, He, Ding, End, Bat, Up, Letter, Bed, Head, Ear, Dog, Art
(If you need the answer to this one, drop me an email!)
Where can you find Word Circle Puzzles? My first recommendation is to create them yourself. Short ones are a bit more challenging to create than the longer ones. Longer puzzles are more challenging to solve. Contact me if you are interested in the Word Circle Puzzles Kit - over a dozen print and cut word card sets ready to use and 12 presentation variations.
Comment below with your Word Circle Puzzle creation(s)!
All the best,
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.