Today, to add to the water cycle fun, I thought I would share a word search I created using words and concepts often discussed while studying the water cycle.
Some people may feel that word searches are "filler activities." You know what I mean. It is one of those activities when you want to keep the students busy and out of trouble when a substitute is there. It is one of those activities where you don't expect the substitute teacher to do any "real" teaching. And, if you give a word search to the students and say, "Here, complete this word search," that may be what it is… just a filler activity.
Yet, I think word searches can be great teaching tools. As a matter of fact, I think they can reinforce reading skills, spellings skills, and knowledge in various content areas. Word searches helps people focus on the spelling of a particular word, because they are looking at the word and often checking and double checking the word while searching for it. They have to often read it and reread it while looking for the word. Not only that, but, if you talk about the words on the page…or ask students to write the words on the page in a sentence as another activity… it reinforces the content knowledge as well.
So, I guess, as in many other things in life, it is all in how you approach it. To me, learning should be fun. It should be something that people want to do, instead of something force upon them. Finding fun and creative ways of teaching, such as in the use of a word search is a wonderful way to motivate and encourage students to learn.