One can quite easily understand the educational value associated with crossword puzzles if a person takes into consideration the variety of learning skills associated with the writing and solving of crosswords. Crossword puzzles are no longer considered a fun game or hobby, as their status has now changed to an intellectual and educational pastime in almost all parts of the world. Being in existence and in popularity for the last one century or so, the popularity of crossword puzzles has never seen a downward slope.
At their most basic level, i.e., the beginners’ level, crosswords can quite easily be used to develop the language and word skills of young toddlers, while teens can use these puzzles to develop their vocabulary and speech skills. For the adults, it is a good exercise for their brain, and fine tool to keep up their focus, their attentiveness and their reasoning skills, for which they spend hours on end solving crosswords in various newspapers and magazines almost on a daily basis. With modern times, modern forms of crossword puzzles have also been used, in the form of computer games and smartphone apps, to allow teachers to aid students in their language and word skill development, and for various other educational reasons pertaining to students of all grades and age groups.
Let us now look at the educational value of crossword puzzles. It is known and believed that their educational importance is spread out across a variety of skill sets. The main areas where crossword puzzle solving can have any real effect and can produce real results are as follows:
• Building one’s vocabulary
• Boosting accuracy of spelling
• Boosting reading skills
• Increasing skills pertaining to word comprehension
• Building a word database, or mental dictionary
• Boosting one’s reasoning skills
This is but a condensed list, as we all know that the list usually goes on and on. The educational value of crossword puzzles is constituted within the very words that puzzle solvers need to find out to solve the puzzle. Anyone trying to solve one must first make an attempt at understanding what the clues mean, and to what words they point towards, and then write that word down in the given boxes with proper spelling.
When solving a crossword puzzle, the ability to recall some things is extremely vital. Puzzles created by science teachers that mainly constitute of scientific words and terms must be solved with the student’s ability to retain what he or she learns in the classroom. The ability to recall comes more into play when the puzzle is written by a history teacher, and a student has to recall names of kings, or names of empires ruled by kings, or important names pertaining to ancient history.
Nowadays, crossword puzzles are not an item of gameplay for families and individuals simply because they thing they are up for the challenge of solving the puzzle. Nowadays, it has become a fashion for various schools to employ teachers who have knowledge of using crosswords as a means to educate students.
One can easily find a variety of online crossword puzzles, both solvable online and printable versions which can be printed for the students to solve with a pencil. This makes it easier for teachers and schools to make use of crossword puzzles as a successful tool for helping students develop their language and reasoning skills.
Why crossword puzzles have such a high educational value
Helps in the development of mental skills and power
When solving a certain crossword, a student will have to make use of a variety of mental attributes and skills which will further lead to mental development. These attributes and skills mainly include logic, analysis, vocabulary and spelling. A student will be able to solve any type of crossword puzzle, only if he understands each and every clue properly, and analyses them to come up with the answer. If solved successfully, a crossword puzzle might be a fine source for learning some fresh and new words. Being accurate and precise about spelling is another attribute that will be required if one wants to solve a crossword. Only then can a student be successful in his or her endeavour.
A good source for varied learning styles
It has been seen from research that students find it worth their while to solve crossword puzzles, especially those students who showcase impressive kinaesthetic, visual and auditory skills. Crosswords are of special appeal to students with these special skill sets, because the confusing clues help them to develop their reasoning ability. It is considered to be a satisfying feeling for any student when he or she solves the crossword with 100% accuracy. The main appeal of crosswords lies in the need for multitasking abilities, which needs the student to use all of his or her skills to solve all the given clues within a fixed period of time as a part of their lesson.
An educational recreation for students
Using crossword puzzles as a means to educate students is extremely helpful, as these puzzles are fun to work on and seem a whole lot less stressful on the brain when they are being solved in a classroom environment. Owing to their recreational nature, crosswords act as a better educational tool than any other book or lesson. Students consider this a form of game, and are much more interested in this than sitting for long and boring tests.
In case of teachers, crosswords are a perfect way for getting students more involved in their lessons, with the introduction of crosswords as part of their learning sessions. These are not only interactive and entertaining, they are extremely educational, as they help in the development of certain skills, which helps a student become an even better one. Finishing crossword puzzles are not only satisfying for students, they are also quite competitive. Students will tend to compete with other students, and even themselves, to finish the puzzle before time. For these very reasons, these puzzles are fine educational tools.