A Crossword Compiler is a program which allows you to produce crosswords for the class – or have your students produce them for each other. There are a number on the market which include features such as:
- alternative layouts
- easy printing and/or publishing
- automatic grid filling
In using crossword compilers the important thing to remember is to make them suitable for the level of the class you are teaching.
First create a list of words which the class will know (including passive vocabulary). You might also include one or two words which are unknown to the class but which they’ll be able to deduce from the words and clues around.
The clues you use should also be understandable to the class. Here you can use antonyms, synonyms and so on, much the same way as you would use them to explain words in class.
Don’t also forget that students can use programs like these as well; in fact they may well get more out of it by creating their own crosswords for their classmates to complete than just completing one you have prepared!
Hot Potatoes – a suite of programs which includes a freeware crossword compiler
Puzzler’s Cave – freeware crossword compiler (pictured)