Bilingual Crossword Puzzle

Bilingual Crossword Puzzle lesson plan

Give your brain a "puzzling" bilingual workout! Expand your vocabulary with crosswords that classmates invent for each other.

  • 1.

    Learning a new language takes lots of practice. Making up crossword puzzles is fun and helps strengthen your vocabulary. Follow these steps to make as many puzzles as you like.

  • 2.

    <STRONG>Choose words</STRONG>. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, make a list of new words you are studying. Include words that share some letters and use both common and uncommon letters (like cabeza and manzana). Pick words that vary in length and difficulty. Next to each one, write the meaning in the language you already know.

  • 3.

    <STRONG>Intersect words</STRONG>. To find intersecting words, you might start with the longest word. Branch off from this word until as many words as possible are connected. Be sure there is space between every word. Constructing crosswords is easy because you can erase!

  • 4.

    <STRONG>Design the grid.</STRONG> To create your puzzle, use a straight edge to make boxes for each letter in the pattern you formed. Make the boxes big enough to write in. Leave room on the page for your clues.

  • 5.

    <STRONG>Number the boxes</STRONG>. Start at the top left corner of the puzzle. Assign the first box #1 (it could be an across or a down word.) Moving from left to right down the page, assign the first box of each word a number. Look at other crossword puz

  • 6.

    <STRONG>Write clues.</STRONG> At the bottom of the page, write the numbered clues (the words’ meanings in your familiar language).

  • 7.

    <STRONG>Add a border</STRONG>. Decorate the edges of your puzzle page with Crayola Erasable Markers. Try to capture the sprit of your new language with traditional designs and colors. On separate paper, record the correct answers.

  • 8.

    <STRONG>Solve!</STRONG> Exchange puzzles with classmates for some challenging fun!


  • Students list new vocabulary words in a language they are learning.
  • Students plot word intersections and compose clues to construct a puzzle in the classic crossword style.
  • Students design an eye-catching border to reflect a culture in which the language is spoken.


  • Make copies of these crosswords to share with the entire class.
  • Make your puzzles more challenging by writing longer clues rather than just one-word definitions. For example, write "takes off at night" instead of "shoes" for the word zapatos (if you are making an English-Spanish crossword). Or write both the words and
  • Research the long and short-term advantages of exercising your brain with puzzles.
  • Assessment: Ask students to check each other’s answers. Note whether puzzles are accurate, complete, and decorated with suitable borders.