Half a Crossword

It’s been a long time since I discovered the benefits of the Half a Crossword activity. I first came across the idea in the Teacher’s Bank of the coursebook I was using. In case you don’t know what I mean, it’s an information gap type of activity where students get half a crossword each, split evenly between two students working in a pair. They have to ask each other for missing information and define the words in their crossword.

When I first tried it, I immediately fell in love with its simplicity and effectiveness. However, I’d never thought of creating my own half crosswords – I knew it would be far from simple.

Luckily, the other day, I read a post on Mura Nava’s blog where I learned about Half a Crossword creatorwhich makes it possible for me to create half crossword handouts in a matter of minutes. The author of this fantastic tool is Wiktor Jakubczyc.

 

Výstřižek.PNG

Student A’s crossword

 

It’s amazingly simple; in the word box on the left, you type in the words you want in the crosswords and everything else looks after itself.

When I was creating the handouts, I wasn’t sure how many words each one should contain. So I typed in 15 words altogether (which was actually by mistake; I had obviously intended to have an even number of items). Although it didn’t seem a lot at first sight, in today’s lesson, it turned out that 14, i.e 7 and 7, is actually a perfect number for a nice 15-20 minute speaking activity.

I’m a fan of speaking activities based on word prompts but this one is one of my favorites. It’s not exactly a no-prep activity but it really takes next to no time to create. And it’s worth the effort. Based on my experience, it’s a great way to revise and recycle vocabulary, especially items your students are not 100% sure of. Although I mainly used words I thought my students were familiar with, some kept peeking at their word lists to double-check the meanings, which, by the way, I had allowed and encouraged.

About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for almost 25 years and I still love my job. You can find out more about my passion here on my blog.
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3 Responses to Half a Crossword

  1. nataneva says:

    Reblogged this on nataliaeydelman and commented:
    Thanks for sharing! My students & I love crossword puzzles and doing this activity was very motivating for them as well as fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Giulia says:

    Hi Hana!
    Thanks to your suggestion, I used this great tool to create a half a crossword activity for a FCE prep class. It worked like a charm, and as you write got students talking and revising vocabulary. Thanks a lot for the great tip!
    Just one question, how do you save the crossword once it’s created? I had to take a screenshot because trying to print it from my browser wasn’t working (it would cut some of the crossword out). I was wondering if this is a problem due to my computer setup or if you experienced something similar.
    Thanks again for the great tips! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Oh, yes. I actually had the same problem – I also had to take a screenshot. But it worked just fine so I let it be. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback, Giulia.

      Like

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