This is the first in a series of emails in which I share activities that you can use in your training sessions. This one is called Word Search, and it is very well suited for virtual training sessions.
We have all played this game. It started off as puzzles in physical books. Then computer games explored this idea. These days, mobile games are available.
The idea of Word Search is simple. There is a grid with random letters. It looks like there is no pattern initially, but if you look hard you’ll see some words. Some words immediately jump out at you, while others you have to look hard to find. It is a challenge to find as many words as you can.
Sometimes, the answers are listed on the side to make it simpler. Usually, the words are part of a theme. Words can be found vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. More difficult versions have words in the opposite direction as well.
That’s it. My experience has been that this is a fantastic activity to check if the participants can find all the concepts that have been covered or not. If you do a long session, just before leaving for the break (or immediately after returning from the break) use the Word Search activity. It helps revise ideas already discussed in a fun way.
Show the grid on your screen, and let your participants type the words found in the chatbox. Instruct that they don’t send word by word. Instead, ensure everyone types all the words and hits send with their full list.
Alternatively, use the annotate feature to have people draw lines around the words as they find them. This is a lot of fun, as invariably someone will mark words that don’t exist. Even when they find a legitimate word, you can still make a joke like “OOBMAB? What sort of a word is that? Oh, it’s BAMBOO. Of course. Good job.” This stuff sounds silly when you read it, but gets a lot of laughter when done well.
You can either build it using excel by yourself or create the grid automatically with a list of words you supply by visiting this website: https://thewordsearch.com/maker/
I hope you and your participants have a lot of fun with this activity – the way I and my participants do. Let me know how it goes once you use it.