Vocabulary Activities with Free Printables

Vocabulary Activities and Puzzles

Students love playing games and solving puzzles. With these fun activities, students won’t even realize how much they are learning. In the handout, you will find the four print-and-go activities explained in this post. You will also get a page of resource links for quickly making your own print-and-go vocabulary activities.

Vocabulary Activities, Puzzles, and Games

Get the handout with all activities by clicking on the button.


Activity #1 – Add a Word

Add a Word Puzzles

In this activity, students put words together to form new words. The trick is they must determine if the word they are adding goes at the beginning or the end of the word provided.

Let’s start with an easy example.

Add day to:

light —> daylight

every —>everyday

dooms —> doomsday

dreamers —> daydreamers

birth —> birthday

Here’s another example:

Add rot to:

ten  —> rotten

or  —> rotor

par  —> parrot

ate  —> rotate

car  —> carrot

Activities #2 – Anagrams

Word Puzzles - Anagrams

An Anagram is a word or phrase made by changing the order of the letters in another word or phrase.

Here are a few examples:

bread  —> bared, beard, debar

care  —> acre, race

tassel  —> slates, steals

Activity #3 – Homographs

Word Puzzles - Homographs

A homograph is a word that is spelled like another word but is different in origin, meaning, or pronunciation.

Here are a few examples:

These two words are pronounced /bō/.

bow —> knot of tied strings

bow —> a weapon that shoots arrows

These two words are pronounced /bou/.

bow —> part of a ship

bow —> to bend the upper part of the body over to show respect


Have students make drawings of homographs.


Activity #4 – Puns

Word Puzzles - Puns

A pun is a humorous way of using a word or phrase so that more than one meaning is suggested. Many jokes are puns. Write and illustrate a pun.

This button takes you to Book Units Teacher Pun Definition and Examples Post. There you will be able to get the video lesson with an accompanying organizer to teach students what puns are.

Take Me There.

Q: Why does Humpty Dumpty love autumn?
A: Because Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence. “My father grows beans,” said one girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said a boy. A third student spoke up, “We are all human beans.“


Q: Why did the can crusher quit his job?
A: Because it was soda pressing.

Q: Why was six scared of seven?
A: Because seven “ate” nine.

Q: What happens to a frog’s car when it breaks down?
A: It gets toad away.

Q: How do you count cows?
A: With a cowculator.

Q: Why couldn’t the leopard play hide and seek?
A: Because he was always spotted.

Q: Did you hear about the kidnapping at school?
A: It’s okay. He woke up.

Q: What do computers eat for a snack?
A: Microchips!

Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A: A gummy bear.

Q: What is the tallest building in the entire world?
A: The library, because it has so many stories.

Q: Can February march?
A: No, but April may.

Activity #5 – Word Puzzle Generators

Word Puzzles Generators

The Internet is full of puzzle generators. Check out my blog post on crossword puzzle makers.

These puzzles are very easy to create. They were created in less than 10 minutes using Puzzlemaker.

Permanent link to this article: https://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=5909


    • Carolyn on October 5, 2017 at 5:55 am

    I enjoyed these, although some may be a bit difficult for my EFL kids. Most of them have the typical textbook vocabulary (limited and b-o-r-I-n-g), and now I’m here to change that! hahaha These will be quite a challenge for them – love it!

    Do you have any more?

    Thanks for the freebie! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome. You might like last week’s post on word wheels. http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=5904

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