Tips for Learning New Vocabulary Words

How Word Searches Help Students


Students can easily tire of difficult tasks, so it is helpful to add exciting games and fun material that enforces learning. For instance, word searches are a great example of this type of teaching tool. Searches give students a break from monotonous studying, while teaching necessary skills.  In addition to aiding in the development of reading, spelling, and critical thinking, they may also be helpful for students who are learning new words. In fact, word searches offer flexibility in learning, and can be easily adjusted for young students as well as those who are more advanced.

Different Learning Styles
When teaching, it is important to use techniques that reinforce the message by using as many learning styles as possible. Some children are strictly visual learners, while others are more prone to audio. In fact, there are children who are a combination of both methods. Nevertheless, when using word searches, the visual learner benefits because they are seeing and concentrating on the words. However, students should be encouraged to say the words aloud, or to find them as the teacher reads them aloud, in order to reach the audio learners as well.

Critical Thinking Skills
When students spend time searching for words in a word search, they are learning to think and problem solve. This is accomplished through eliminating letters that do not belong until the specific word they are searching for is found.  This technique helps in many other areas of learning as well.  What's more, they are exercising these skills without even realizing it. As a result, the word find is a fun break from standard teaching and students develop skills in a relaxed setting.

Improved Reading
When students are learning to read, they need to spend time working with new words. Word searches promote the use of new vocabulary words. Because they are repeating the words in their heads while searching for them, they can easily recognize them again the next time they see them.  Additionally, the act of focusing on a given word within the word search block will help students to learn the necessary focus required in reading.

Learning to Spell
Word searches are excellent for teaching children how to spell.  Not only do they see the word, but also, recite it to themselves. This encourages an understanding of how the letters sound and work together. In addition, they focus on each specific letter of the word as they search for it in the word search block. To place extra emphasis on spelling, teachers can display misspelled words in the word find. This makes finding the correct spelling more challenging and helps children to focus on remembering how to spell.

When students have opportunities to break away from a boring learning environment by participating in fun activities that encourage learning, they tend to excel.  Word searches help to relieve stress that builds up from a rigorous learning schedule. As a tool, word searches provide students an opportunity to have fun, relax, and even strike up a friendly competition with one another.  As a result, it is comforting for teachers to know that specific skills are being learned while students are given an opportunity to relax.