Crossword puzzles appeal to teachers of all subjects, and the research supports this. Yet, for foreign language teachers, there are concerns about finding a crossword puzzle maker that supports their unique needs.
With Crossword Hobbyist, it’s no problem; you can make Spanish crossword puzzles – or “crucigramas” – without a word of English. Or, you can make puzzles with Spanish and English. In other words, you’ll have everything you need to make a puzzle now. This post will give you a sampling of the different kinds of Spanish crossword puzzles you can make.
Creating Spanish Crossword Puzzles
Many teachers use crossword puzzles to review vocabulary, which makes perfect sense for language teachers. Your Spanish crossword puzzle might simply feature English to Spanish translation, or vice versa. This works great to reinforce students’ vocabulary. More advanced students might do better with an entire crossword puzzle in Spanish. Mr. King did this with his “Arte y literatura” crossword puzzle.
If you wish, you can narrow it down a bit more by making Spanish crossword puzzles to focus on a part of speech. Verb conjugation plays a big role in the Spanish classroom, so teachers might take one verb and ask students to conjugate it in different ways. Profesora Dell Landazuri did this with the verb “tener”.
This would work with any part of speech: nouns, adjectives, even adverbs or prepositions.
As you’re making your puzzle, remember that the clues provide just as much information on the part of speech as the answers. For example, clues for verbs might be phrased in different tenses, meaning the answers have to match the tense of the clue. Answers with an adjective will need to agree in gender and plurality. In this way, Spanish crossword puzzles help with grammar as well as vocabulary.
With so many Spanish-speaking countries with their own rich cultures, your Spanish crossword puzzles might focus on culture alone. Pair a puzzle like this with a Spanish cuisine party, or a celebration of a particular holiday.
What about the accents?
As of this writing, Crossword Hobbyist supports accents in the clues, but not in the answers. This is fine for your students solving on the blank grid if the accented letter does not intersect a non-accented letter: if canción intersects with cansado on a ‘c’, ‘a’, or ‘n’ it works fine, but if it intersects on the ‘o’ then it should be an ‘o’ in one direction and an ‘ó’ in the other.
This is on the project list to add at some point in the future. In the meantime, if you happen to miss such an issue before printing a puzzle for your class, you can always offer extra credit to the students who notice!
For the Classroom
Many teachers make Spanish crossword puzzles to accompany specific pages in a textbook. You can put your page numbers in the title like this teacher did, or in the description on the side. In this case, the teacher decided to use the description to have students list their name and the date.
When making Spanish crossword puzzles to accompany a textbook, you can simply focus on the words in a section. You might also make crossword puzzles to serve as an accompanying exercise. Crosswords would pair well with a listening exercise, for example. Students will have to hone their listening skills even more in order to hear the correct answers to the crossword.
Then, Spanish crossword puzzles can help students review for a quiz, test, or exam.
If you’d still like more examples of Spanish crossword puzzles other teachers have made, browse here for more ideas. You might also read this post for ideas on making Spanish word searches for students, too. Whether you decide to go with crossword puzzles, word searches, or both, word games are a great way to promote learning in your Spanish classroom.
Kristen Seikaly used her artistic background, research skills, and love for the internet to launch her first blog, Operaversity. Now she uses the skills to connect teachers, parents, and game enthusiasts with Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search. She studied music at the University of Michigan, and now lives in Philadelphia.