Who said teaching vocabulary had to be boring? This post contains different word wheel activities for students to enjoy while learning more about words. Word wheels help students explore words from different angles. They are a great learning approach for visual learners.
Be sure to check out all five activities.
Word Wheel Activities
Word Wheel Activity #1
This is the most common type of word wheel puzzle. You can find many of these online. Here is how they work.
Have students write down as many real words as they can using only the letters in the wheel. All words must include the center letter of the wheel. Words can be any length. Letters may be repeated or doubled. Encourage students to create long words. The handout contains two puzzles for you to try.
Turn this activity into a competition by setting a two-minute timer. See which student can find the longest word or the most real words in the designated time.
This link contains all puzzle activities from this post plus links to the websites discussed in this post.
After you are hooked, check out these websites for additional word wheels.
At Edu.Games.org, teachers can create their own word wheels by typing any word in the input box. Imagine the fun students will have with word wheels containing vocabulary words from their personalized list. The website generates the puzzle and an answer key. You can download the puzzle as a PDF file or create a link for students to play online.
Here are a few additional links with online word wheels. Be aware that the rules vary from site to site. At some sites, letters cannot be repeated. At other sites repeating and doubling letters is fine. Have students read the rules before they begin playing to prevent frustration.
Word Wheel Activity #2
The wheel contains an eight-letter word. Fill in the missing letter to complete the word. The word may go clockwise or counterclockwise,
Ten of these word wheel puzzles are included in the handout.
Word Wheel Activity #3
Students are only given the center letter to begin the puzzle. All the words from this puzzle must begin with the letter in the center of the wheel and must be exactly five letters in length. All words going around the outside of the wheel must begin and end with the letters at the end of the spokes. They must also be exactly five letters in length. These words circle in a clockwise direction. This example is a possible solution to the word puzzle.
If you missed the link above, here it is again.
Word Wheel Activity #4
Students can manipulate this 3-D puzzle by spinning the circles to form 5-letter words.
Print the five included circles provided in the handout. Use the center dots to line up the circles. Fasten the circles together with a brad.
Students spin the wheels looking for real words that contain five letters, one from each circle. Turn this activity into a friendly competition by using a timer.
Word Wheel Activity #5
This final word activity is a great way to teach vocabulary. Students must write about seven different properties of the word.
- part of speech
- word parts (roots, prefixes, suffixes)
- synonyms and similarities
- writing a sentence using the word
- word associations
- definition in the student’s own words
- antonyms and differences