Grandparents Wordsmith Challenge

Language Arts

Students will assemble words using the letters that make up a longer word.

What to Do

  1. Explain to students that they are going to see how many words they can make using the letters that make up a longer word.
  2. As an example, write the word “classmates” on the board. Show them that using letters found in this word, they can make the words “stem,” “less,” and “mast.”
  3. Tell them that you will write a word on the board. They will have two minutes to make as many words as they can using the letters in the word.
  4. Remind them that they can use a letter only as many times as it is found in the original word. For instance, using “classmates” they can make “mass,” because “classmates” has two s's, but not “tests,” because “classmates” has only one t.
  5. Write the word “grandparents” on the board. Give students two minutes to write down as many words as they can make.
  6. When time is up, have children take turns giving you one word from the list until no one has any new words to report.


Repeat the exercise using the words “ancestors,” “descendents,” and “genealogy.”

Teaching Options

For older children, make this a contest. After all the words are read, they should give themselves one point for each word up to four letters that they find, with an extra point for each letter over four that the word contains. Give an additional extra point for any word that relates thematically to the first word (for instance, “past” in “grandparents”).