I’ve already posted a list of sites where both teachers and students can make more sophisticated online games that would be useful for language development — The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

Today, I’d like to create another “The Best…” list, this time focusing on more simple and “old-fashioned” word games like crossword puzzles and hangman. I’ll share places where you can create these games for free and have them hosted online so anyone can play them at anytime and will also list sites that allow you to easily create the games, but for printing out hard copies only.

Either way, the only way I think these activities provide occasional useful learning opportunities is when students create the games themselves.  Then, they can share them among their peers.  A speed competition can be a lot of fun. Personally, though, I don’t think anything beats a game of hangman on a classroom whiteboard with students divided into groups. In fact, you might find my article Games Students Play useful. In it, I share my (and my students) favorite classroom learning games.

Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Making Crossword Puzzles & Hangman Games:

Just Crosswords is an easy way to create an online crossword puzzle. No registration is required — just plug in the words and clues and the site hosts it for you.

You can create online hangman games (and do a lot more) at My Language Exchange. Registration (again, free and easy) is required).

Study Stack lets you easily create (after your register) flashcards, hangman games, word searches, and many more activities.

Play Kids Games is the latest addition to this list. Teachers can use their own content for a variety of games, including Hangman.

There are several sites that allow you to create crossword puzzles you can print-out for free. They include EdHelper, Puzzle-Maker, and Puzzlefast.

The well-known Puzzlemaker from Discovery Education lets you make a lot of other word games for print-out, but not crossword puzzles.

educaplay looks like a great free (as far as I can tell, at least) tool where you can easily create a ton of different kinds of educational interactives that you can link to or embed in your site. These include:

•Wordsearch Puzzle
•Fill in the texts
•Jumbled Word
•Jumbled Sentence

For at least some of the them, including dictation, it provides the ability to record audio.

You can create Crossword Puzzles to print-out at Read Write Think.

I’ve written about Russel Tarr’s extraordinary ClassTools site often (see This Is The Best Web 2.0 Site For ELLs & May Be The Best One For All Students). He has a zillion of easy-to-use (and with no registration required) tools for creating online content. He’s added another one to his vast suite of options — this time, it’s a super-simple way to create interactive online crossword puzzles.

I’m not a big fan of Word Searches, but they can sometimes be a fun activity for students to create. Word Search Labs is an easy tool for creating word searches online.

Hangman.io has lots of hangman games.  More importantly, though, they make it super-easy for users to create their own.

If you register at Reading is Fundamental’s Literacy Central (it’s free and easy), go to the Tools section, and click on “Puzzle Creator,” you can make online…puzzles for students to play. All they have to do is click on the link of your finished product. You can make a WordSearch, a sort of crossword puzzle, and/or a “memory matching” game.

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