Crosswords as a Learning Tool

Crossword puzzles are not just puzzles. Sure, when the first crossword puzzle came in 1913, the intention was to add some for of entertainment in the pages of The New York Globe. And years after that, crossword puzzles became a phenomenon and entered a fad phase. It became such a popular game that libraries fell short of banning people from accessing reference books since they were disturbing those who legitimately need dictionaries and encyclopedias like students, professors, and researchers.

Today, however, the crossword is still a popular medium of entertainment and some people feel that their day is just not complete if they don’t finish a puzzle on their favorite daily newspaper. But crosswords can be more than that. Crosswords as a learning tool can in fact be explored further since the practice of such in a classroom can yield some encouraging and interesting results.

As an educator, you have the responsibility to pass on your knowledge and skills to your students. There are a number of tools at your disposal as well as teaching techniques in order to maximize the absorption and increase the understanding of what you are teaching. May it be English literature, physics, Chemistry, biology, or mathematics, students need to grasp the general concepts, theories, and facts about their field for them to successfully apply their skills when they face the real world after graduation. It is on the educator’s hands to teach or moderate learning.

In some courses, creating crossword puzzles can totally work to increase the learning curve. The difficulty of each puzzle will depend on the level of the students. But, crossword puzzles can be tailored fit for every possible subject. Through creating customized word puzzles, both teachers and students can study their curriculum through a whole new method.

The good thing about crossword puzzles is that they encourage logical thinking. And of course vocabulary can be enhanced and the practice of writing the correct spelling is also a benefit. Reasoning and deduction are also being honed in crossword puzzles. When applied to a certain subject as a teaching tool, students will be able to remember specific subjects, theories or ideas related to their course since in order to fill in the boxes in a crossword grid, people need to answer the clues first which can refer to terms related to the course.

The puzzles are also less intimidating tools for teaching which works well on some people. But expect that some students will not appreciate having this as one of your learning tools. Nonetheless, with crossword puzzles, students will be able to practice their skills in evaluating options and of course drawing up possible conclusions. These of course come from improved deduction skills.

Although, a little minor effect, crossword puzzles can also encourage students to hit the books to get the right answers. Encouraging them to read more on their own is a good thing for any teacher and is beneficial in the long run for students.

Puzzle solving can also be applied outside the classroom. It can be used for adult education especially in areas where people are already hesitant to new knowledge and skills being comfortable with what they have today. The possibilities of using crossword puzzles to teach and educate can still be explored and the techniques further improved.