Classroom word games for learning English vocabulary

Wordsearch Puzzles

classroom games tips and ideas

learning and teaching resources

Wordsearch puzzles are popular classroom games, useful for vocabulary teaching and revision, and kids love them. To expand this activity or to give your students extra practice, have them play related classroom games.

Fun, interactive, great tools for learning. Who doesn't like to play classroom games? Here are some ideas to inspire you. These activities can be used in any topic!

The suggested games focus on spelling, writing and vocabulary building. They require minimal preparation and can be used just to practise any vocabulary.

Below you will find descriptions of the following classroom games:

• bigger, smaller
• first word, last word
• mirror writing
• write the words
• letters and words
• across or down
• memorize the words
• noughts and crosses

To browse all of our wordsearch puzzles sorted alphabetically by topic, use this resource guide. Also, we offer a variety of online word games that go well with these printables.

ideas for extra classroom games

Below you will find some classroom games that go well with our wordsearch puzzles. Any game can be used in any vocabulary topic.

ESL clasroom games
  • bigger, smaller
  • It is a fun activity for writing practice. Ask your students to write words changing the size of letters.
Vocabulary games for English learners
  • first word, last word
  • Choose a word. Kids write it vertically, then use each letter in that word as the first letter of their words (e.g. from the same topic).
Word games for the classroom
  • mirror writing
  • Kids write the words backwards and from right to left. Then, by using the mirror, they can correct their own work.

write the words

  • Working individually (or in pairs), your students have to write down as many vocabulary words as they can in the time limit (for example, two minutes).
  • The player with the most correct words is the winner.

letters and words

  • Put a word on the board and have teams or individuals make as many words as possible from those letters.
  • For example, elephant = ant, net, pet, hat, help, etc.

across or down

  • Students have copies of a wordsearch in front of them.
  • One kid chooses the longest word from the list and writes it vertically on the board in capital letters, from top to bottom.
  • The other kids come up one by one and add other words from the list, like in a crossword puzzle, across or down.

memorize the words

  • Write a list of words on the board. Give your student time to memorize the words, then erase everything except for the first letter of each word.
  • The kids then have to write the list in their notebooks as quickly as possible.

noughts and crosses

  • Draw on the board a Noughts and Crosses grid with your vocabulary words in the boxes.
  • Divide the class into two teams. Team A plays with an X and Team B with an O.
  • Team A chooses a box and say the definition of the word.
  • If the answer is correct, rub out the word and write an X in the box. If the answer is wrong, and Team B can correct it with their first guess, you write an O in that box. Then Team B takes the turn, etc.
  • The winner is the team which first completes a line in any direction (vertically, horizontally or diagonally).