My recent travels back to Texas for the holidays inspired some Word Circle Puzzle creation time - plane time goes by quickly when in the creative mode. I also thought of another way to use WCPs. (If you are new to Word Circle Puzzles find some earlier posts describing the concept in the FUNdoing Blog post's Puzzles category.)
I like communication exercises that help bring out both the positive and negative behaviors related to talking with others. This simple WCP variation (I have yet to try) might lead to some great discussion around effective communication. I'm calling this version….
Solve & Repeat
Give everyone 1 or 2 word cards from a Word Circle Puzzle set. During the solving process everyone must have at least one word card in his or her hand at all times. Ask the group to solve the puzzle - connecting all the words together to make a circle of words. Players can show each other the words on their card(s). Time how long it takes the group to initially solve this task. (Asking for help is acceptable - maybe give the group 3 or 4 questions they can ask you to help them complete their task.)
Once they solve the puzzle tell them how long it took. You might want to spend some time talking/processing the activity to highlight some learning points. When ready to continue, have everyone turn his or her word card(s) face down (hold them so they can't see the words) and shuffle the cards around throughout the group - exchanging cards with at least 5 other players. When you say "GO!" (start the time), everyone can turn his or her card(s) over and then proceed to solve the puzzle (yes, the same puzzle). When I do one of my Line Up activities using playing cards in the same manner I see behaviors related to brainstorming, sharing ideas, agreements, negotiation, compromise, confusion, success, failure, frustration, and celebration. I'm guessing that using a Word Circle Puzzle in the same way will create the same experiences. Give it a try and let me know how it goes (I will too and report back in a later post.)
Word Circle Puzzles (In the spirit of play, this time I will give the puzzles to you all mixed up so you have the opportunity to solve them if you are so inclined. If not, the answer to each puzzle will be provided at the end of this post.)
9 Words: ACID, KIT, STEP, LIFT, RAIN, UP, TEN, DANCE, ANT
11 Words: PIPE, DOWN, OUT, STORY, GRADE, BACK, SCHOOL, BAG, PASS, BUS, BOOK
FAIRY, BULB, CAR, CLUB, STORE, LET, WIND, FRONT, PET, TOOTH, DOWN, FARM, LIGHT
13-2 Words: (There is also an 8-word puzzle in this one as well.)
BIRD, GLASS, PIPE, CALL, DRAIN, NUMBER, FENCE, BRAIN, RAIL, PLATE, ORGAN, SNAKE, ON
16 Words: MAN, FACTOR, SOME, WORK, HUSBAND, LOAD, SCHOOL, BREAK, STORE, OUT, BOOK, HOUSE, GLASS, HAND, DAY, HOUR
17 Words: PANT, TOP, OVER, RING, BACK, DOWN, HILL, AWE, LET, COAT, PLACE, HER, STAND, FLIP, SOME, WATCH, KICK
19 Words: LESS, BEAM, WHEEL, QUEST, DOWN, CLUB, PAINT, LIST, ION, SCALE, SODA, MAP, BALL, HOUSE, OR, HORSE, BIT, FLY, DRAFT
Have fun out there!!
All the best,
WORD CIRCLE PUZZLE ANSWERS
9 Words: UP, LIFT, KIT, TEN, ANT, ACID, RAIN, DANCE, STEP
11 Words: BACK, STORY, BOOK, BAG, PIPE, DOWN, GRADE, SCHOOL, BUS, PASS, OUT
13-1 Words: CAR, PET, STORE, FRONT, TOOTH, FAIRY, LIGHT, BULD, LET, DOWN, WIND, FARM, CLUB
13-2 Words: CALL, NUMBER, PLATE, GLASS, SNAKE, FENCE, RAIL, BIRD, [8-word puzzle] BRAIN, DRAIN, PIPE, ORGAN, ON
16 Words: SOME, DAY, SCHOOL, BOOK, STORE, HOUSE, HUSBAND, MAN, HOUR, GLASS, WORK, LOAD, FACTOR, OUT, BREAK, HAND
17 Words: OVER, AWE, SOME, PLACE, KICK, BACK, FLIP, PANT, HER, RING, LET, DOWN, HILL, TOP, COAT, STAND, WATCH
19 Words: WHEEL, HOUSE, PAINT, BALL, CLUB, SODA, LIST, LESS, OR, BIT, MAP, QUEST, ION, BEAM, SCALE, DOWN, DRAFT, HORSE, FLY
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.
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.