I love word formation and have always thought of it as quite a dynamic aspect of language which lends itself easily to gamification. Inspired by the simple 4 x 4 colour Sudokus in my son’s Lego magazines, here are some word formation Sudokus to give a fun yet challenging twist to the end of a lesson. Make use of it as you will, but here’s one possible procedure:
1.Give students a simple 4×4 number Sudoku to warm them up, for example:
2.Show them the first one on the worksheet, which is based only on the word ‘know’. This is just to get them used to doing a Sudoku with words. You could do this one as a class.
3.Now that they have the concept, get them to do the others, which use four different words in each puzzle. Different approaches to this include:
- if your students are motivated by competition, set teams against each other to see who finishes each one first.
- allow students to use their phones/dictionaries to look up forms of the words that they are not familiar with.
- In online classes, copy a Sudoku onto your online whiteboard (I use the snipping tool to turn anything into a paste-able image) and allow students to write their answers over the top. If you want to add a competitive element, you could assign pairs a different colour that they have to write in, ask students all to write at the same time, and the pair with the most answers wins.
- Print out the single A4-sized versions (or, in the absence of a printer, draw them out yourself on A4 paper). Put them inside a plastic wallet and give each pair/group of students a whiteboard marker. Give each group a different Sudoku. They can write their answers on the plastic wallet (see below). When they have finished one, they wipe off their answers and change Sudokus with another group.
As a follow-up, students can write their own sentences containing some of the words, and then give their sentences to their classmates or add them to a group Padlet/share on screen for everyone to complete.
Here is the PDF with the Sudokus and answers:
Let me know if you try it out; I hope your students enjoy it as much as mine did! I’m working on an advanced version, so watch this space!
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