A “Puzzling” Solution to Make English Class Fun

Let’s face it — English grammar and spelling aren’t the easiest (or most exciting) parts of the curriculum for many students. So why not combine these age-old subjects with some new technology — namely, the IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System — to create some outside-the-box fun? After interacting with the material in an effective new way, your students might just start to love language.

For this activity, you’ll need:

  • A computer or a laptop
  • A projector
  • The IPEVO IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System
  • IPEVO Annotator (which you can download for free here)
  • A word puzzle, which takes only a couple minutes to create with websites like this

Have all your devices connected and apps downloaded? Ready, set, go!

1. Calibrate the IS-01 with the projector. Double-click the IS-01 icon on your computer. You’ll be guided through brief calibration exercises with your Interactive Pen. This ensures the accuracy of Pen gestures. Simply follow the onscreen prompts and tap the Pen to your projector surface where indicated. It just takes a couple of minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEQ_iXkDQi0

2. Create a word puzzle. Go to a puzzle maker website (like puzzle maker.com)and create your puzzle. The more words you use — and the more varied they are — the better. Humor helps, too!

3. Import your puzzle into Annotator. Take a screen cap of your puzzle, then import it to Annotator by creating a new board and opening the image. If you prefer to use another drawing program, no problem: IS-01 is compatible with any drawing app that receives mouse input.

4. Circle the words. Select the free draw tool from the menu bar (the icon that looks like a pencil), choose a good color, and start circling words in your word search puzzle. If you’d like students to come up and circle words they find, consider the Extension Wand for the IS-01. Kids love waving the “magic” wand, and it’ll give shorter students the extra length they need. When mistakes happen, just hit the back arrow (Undo) or use the eraser tool.

5. Play a memory game. When all the words are found, open a blank board in Annotator (or your preferred app) and start a memory exercise by asking students to remember as many words as possible from the puzzle. Write them down with the wand and the free draw tool. And remember: Don’t tell students about the memory game beforehand! It’s more fun that way.

6. Play one last activity. Finally, ask students one by one to come to the board and number the words according to alphabetical order. You’ve just gotten a lot of mileage out of a single puzzle. Happy word hunting!

Bonus homework activity!

Ask students to write a story including all of the words from the puzzle. You can make things even more fun by inviting students to include pictures or even small videos recorded with phones. Project these multimedia stories for the class with IS-01 and reward the best ones.