Free word wheel puzzle printables
These word-forming activities are great to help your students expand their vocabulary. Students find the race against time to make words quite exciting and you will find some students come up with some interesting answers that may, or may not be English words.
If you are not sure how to use the printable puzzles read the instructions below. The nine-letter solutions and other longer words have been included at the bottom of the page. There is also a blank word wheel template below so you and your class can make your own word wheels.
How to play word wheel puzzles
The goal of word wheel puzzles is to make as many words as possible with the given letters. The letter in the center circle must be used in each word. There is also at least one word that uses all 9 letters to find. The activity should have a time limit, 5 to 10 minutes is optimal for ESL students.
Other rules include no pronouns or plurals, although you should set the rules as to what is best for your class. For classes with very weak vocabulary, you can even ditch the rule that the center letter must be used.
Scoring can be done by 1 point for each word, or 1 point for each letter in each word.
This activity works well as pair work or even groups of 3 or 4 students. Explain the rules then let them at it, after the assigned time get them to tally up their points and find which team is the winner! Note that it is best to get different pairs or teams to check other students’ answers. If they have any queries about meanings or spelling they should ask the teacher.
Blank word wheel template
Here is a blank word wheel template that you can use to make your own puzzles. You can Print out the PDF and add whatever letters you like. It is easiest if you just find a nine-letter word and then just add the letters from that.
Another fun way of using this word wheel template is to get students to make their own. They can then share them amongst other classmates and test each other’s word-making abilities.
If your students struggle to think of nine-letter words, you can let them use dictionaries or even reduce the main word to just 7 or 8 letters. Just be sure there are at least 2 vowels in each puzzle to help create other words. 3 vowels seem to work best.
The free printable word wheel puzzle solutions
Here are the 9 letter words for each puzzle and also some other suggested answers –
Puzzle 1 – SPACEWALK, palaces, awakes, palaces, places, spackle. caselaw, speck, cakes, capes, peaks..
Puzzle 2 – MAGAZINES, magnesia, amnesia, enigma, gamines, manages, seaming.
Puzzle 3 – MEGAPIXEL, example, exempla, mileage, impale, magpie, mealie, pelage.
Puzzle 4 – QUICKSAND, acinus, quacks, unsaid,squad, snack, acids, cask, sack, dank, sank.
Puzzle 5 – EDUCATION, AUCTIONED, CAUTIONED, catenoid, uncoated, aconite, auction, audient, caution.
Puzzle 6 – BEAUTIFUL, fauteuil, fibulae, albiet, albite, fetial, futile, tubule.
Puzzle 7 – VEGETABLE, elevate, legatee, vegeta, beagle, beetle, eaglet.
Puzzle 8 – HAMBURGER, burgher, hamburg, umbrage, arguer, armune, bregma, murage.
Puzzle 9 – SPAGHETTI, atheist, patties, pettish, ageist, tithes, spathe, pietas.
Puzzle 10 – SUNFLOWER, fleuron, flowers, ourself, ensoul, slower, reflow, loners, lowers.
Puzzle 11 -MILKSHAKE, masklike, emails, shake, makes, milks, shame, lakes, leaks, heals, leash.
Puzzle 12 – CAVEWOMAN, caveman, cowmen, venom, canoe, ocean, woven, women.
Puzzle 13 – PAPERBACK, prepack, packer, appear, capper, baker, brake, creak, pacer.
Puzzle 14 – JELLYFISH, elfishly, fleshily, jellify, fleshy, fishy, filly, shelf, files, flies, fells, fills.
Puzzle 15 – BOOKSHELF, behoofs, ebooks, blokes, hoboes, folks, hooks, shook, holes lobes, loose.
Puzzle 16 – ABANDONED, bonded, banned, donned, bend, bean, band, none, neon, node.