are some examples of the standards that could incorporate puzzles.
knowledge of structures and functions
apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate,
and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their
interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of
word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies,
and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter
correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional geometric
shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
— Use visualization,
spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
and procedural schemes unify science disciplines and provide students
with powerful ideas to help them understand the natural world.
Systems, order, and organization is part of the Unifying Concepts
and Processes Standard.
studies programs should include experiences that provide for the
study of people, places, and environments.
use technology resources for solving problems.
employ technology in the development of strategies for solving
problems in the real world.
a very early age children are fascinated with puzzles. Put a puzzle
on the classroom
table and students will gravitate to it. Why are puzzles so appealing?
What value do they offer to the learning process? You will want
to read Barbara White’s informative article, Are
Jigsaw Puzzles Educational. White concludes that jigsaw puzzles
are educational when they are included as part of the learning
objective. Solving different kinds of puzzles can help students
to visualize and understand concepts, learn vocabulary, and build
problem solving skills. Allowing students to create puzzles reinforces
their knowledge of the subject. See the side bar for corresponding
academic content standards. The Websites below contain interactive
puzzles many of which can be completed online.
Avedon Museum & Archive of Games: Puzzles
Learn about the
history of puzzles from experts and curators who have assembled
this collection at the University of Waterloo. Anne Williams, a
well known authority on jigsaw puzzles, presents over three centuries
of information about them. Language puzzles cover crosswords and
cryptograms from the twentieth century. Instructions are provided
for the logic classification that includes mathematical and optical
puzzles. Rounding out the museum’s archive are mechanical
and manipulative puzzles with commentary by Jerry Slocum. This
site is a great starting point in the study of puzzles.
Monster: History of the Crossword Puzzle
Did you know
that the first crossword puzzle was published in 1913? Can you
name the newspaper in which it appeared? What is a cryptic puzzle?
The answers to these questions and more are included in this interesting
article from the Fact Monster.
of Jigsaw Puzzles
Browse over 3000
puzzles by makers, artists, categories, and countries. Representative
examples are displayed with color illustrations. If you have questions
such as how to frame a puzzle, click on Q&A for detailed information.
This site is geared to the collector, but the images are worth
Solve a variety
of interesting problems to encourage thinking and illustrating
that math can be fun. Sponsored by the Aims Educational Foundation.
In this engaging
activity, students put together a series of jigsaw puzzle pictures
gathered from the American Memory collections at the Library of
Congress. After finishing each picture activity, students are quizzed
on what they learned. When the entire series of pictures is completed,
students are invited to discover the “Big Picture.”
Play jigsaw puzzles
online ranging from six to forty pieces. The puzzles are arranged
into categories with a variety of themes and pictures. Put the
puzzles together and identify the bugs and slugs, flowers, fish,
birds, and animals. Many of the puzzles allow the user to select
the number of puzzle pieces desired to design the picture.
Visit the workshop
gallery for a multitude of puzzles and problems that are provided
to reinforce skills in mathematics, social studies, science, reading,
language arts, and the arts. Topics include creating your own weather,
problem solving, word searches, and learning about geography through
interactive maps. Not only do students learn to locate the states,
they learn fun facts about the states that they can read or have
read to them. This a great site for differentiated learning.
Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles
Using Java applets,
Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles puts theory into
practice. All sorts of mathematical questions are explored beginning
with a hypothesis or premise followed by an actual problem or model
Hundreds of articles
and puzzles have been collected through this Weblog moderated by
Ed Pegg Jr. He encourages readers to send in puzzles for posting.
The site features advanced mathematical problems from mazes to
geometric shapes. This site will test the math skills of everyone.
Glosser's Math Goodies
Cross word puzzles
and word searches are included on a variety of math topics. Puzzles
may be downloaded or printed as long as copyright information is
Create puzzles and
games for flyers, newsletters, or the classroom. Choose from 11 different
types of puzzles with step-by-step instructions for adding content.
Save time by using the ready-made words lists from Discovery Channel
or cut and paste your own. You can print or save your puzzle online
once you have signed up for a free account. Puzzlemaker is easy to
use for teachers and students.
to problem solve by having them use geometrical shapes to fill
an outline. Once they have accomplished this task and understand
the concepts associated with it, engage them in more complex problems
using tangram pieces to form given polygons.
and games for flyers, newsletters, or the classroom. Choose from
11 different types of puzzles with step-by-step instructions for
adding content. Save time by using the ready-made words lists from
Discovery Channel or cut and paste your own. You can print or save
your puzzle online once you have signed up for a free account.
Puzzlemaker is easy to use for teachers and students.
Glencoe puzzlemaker software that corresponds with your science
textbook. Install it on your PC or Mac and you are ready to create
crosswords, jumbles or word searches in a few clicks. The vocabulary
words and definitions for each chapter are included. You can edit,
save, and print. This is a handy tool for any science teacher.
Lite, a freeware program for Windows, has many great features.
One of them is the ability to create puzzles from your own photographs.
Social Studies teachers can import primary source images of important
events. Art teachers can create puzzles from masterpieces. Students
can create puzzles for a project in any subject area.
puzzles online. Select a level of difficulty from 6 pieces to 247
pieces for each puzzle. Upload photos and create your own jigsaw
puzzles. Share puzzles with friends and receive the puzzle of the
day via email.