There are numerous sites on the web that can create wordsearches for you from a list of words. You can use Google to find them with search terms like "wordsearch generator". These instructions are for one particular site, that I use frequently for the following reasons:

  • the output pastes into Microsoft Word fairly neatly, allowing me to add an image and a heading - whether your wordsearch pastes into Microsoft Word depends on the output of the generator, and your version of Word.
  • I can control whether the wordsearch includes diagonal and backwards words, which can be hard for some younger students

I use the superkids.com wordsearch generator to make the vast majority of my wordsearches. There are two things I don't like about this site:
  • It makes all the words upper case - but it's easy to fix this later in Word.
  • Their idea of an "easy version" still includes diagonal words - again, sometimes it is just easiest to replace these in Word later.

Here are the steps I use to create wordsearch documents from texts using the superkids.com generator:

  1. Enter your words and create your wordsearch
  2. Copy from "Superkids..." to the end of your words and paste into Microsoft Word
  3. Delete the extra space from the end of each line of the letter grid
  4. Convert the letter grid to a 16x16 table using Table...Convert...Text to Table. This lets you choose a font and keep the letters aligned.
  5. Choose table properties and turn off the borders.
  6. Set up your new title and add a picture of the book or some other images to make it more appealing
  7. Use the Format...Change Case function in Word to convert all the letters to lower case (depending on your version of Word, this may vary)
  8. Select your search words and put them into three columns

Voila! You're done.

You may be tempted to change the font of the wordsearch puzzle - I know I was - but the Courier font is monospaced, which means each letter takes the same amount of space. Superkids relies on this to lay out the puzzle in neat rows and columns. If you have followed the instructions above to change the text into a table, it should be fine. Other sites present the wordsearch in a table to create the same effect, but for me this caused problems when pasting into Word.

Hmm, just had a wordsearch not include all the words I asked for, which could cause some consternation in the classroom. Be sure to test all your wordsearches out first if you are creating them online! Another site I am liking is
http://www.thecanadianteacher.com/tools2/games/wordsearch/wordsearch.php


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