In need of some nice word puzzles that will keep your gifted kids busy? Ask them to find as many words as they can within another word.
- They must use only the letters within the words.
- The letters can be in any order.
- They can use as few letters as they need.
For example: can you find five words within “snowy?” How about ten?
There’s even more, including: soy, sown, and on.
Can you find ten words within “mermaid?”
Too easy? What about 20? 30? There are actually more than 50 words within “mermaid!”
Develop An Algorithm
Go beyond a simple word problem by asking students to develop a set of steps, or an algorithm, to find as many words as possible. Rather than randomly grabbing letters, what pattern can be employed? Get kids thinking about the most efficient way to solve the problem.
A True Challenge
I had students who ate these puzzles up. They’d end up with a dictionary in hand, double-checking words and even finding new words to use! Kids loved to collaborate and figure out which words they were missing.
Update: I’ve included 70+ of these puzzles in a big PDF of advanced vocabulary resources.