Our SAT Wordsearches each include a range of vocabulary, and the aim for each of the editions is to help to reinforce vocabulary by seeing the words and definitions. While it may not seem like a very challenging task compared to (say) Essay writing or giving presentations, use and exposure to the SAT vocabulary can be a helpful addition to learning!
Some hints and tips for using our SAT Wordsearches
You can start a game by tapping 'New Game' from the title screen of the game, and it will select one of the many built in puzzles for you to play.
The aim of the game is to find all of the hidden words - you do this by tapping and dragging from the first letter of a word to the final letter, and it will encircle the word for you. You can overshoot a little bit (which makes it a bit easier!) and it will know to end the loop at the end of the word.
Every one of the words that are included in our games has a short definition. If you tap on the word in the list at the bottom of the screen, it will show the definition too. In this way you'll get familiarity with both the spelling of the word, and its meaning too.
The definitions also pop-up when you find one of the words in the grid, so another way to play is to look for the words in the grid and when you have circled them, look for the definition.
Say it out loud!
If you want to really improve your vocabulary permanently, and retain the words and their meanings, you have to engage just that bit more!
Research (and teaching experience!) shows that whenever you use and process something, your brain retains it far better than if you just pass along. The more parts of your brain you can involve in the task, the better!
We recommend that a brilliant way to improve your vocabulary is when you find a word, say it out loud, and say the definition too. Yes - actually out loud! (Not so loud that you wake the whole street though!)
You'll get a few strange looks if you do this on the bus, and probably an occasional shush! at the library, so you might need to pick your spot!
If you struggle more with spelling than meanings, you may find that saying the spelling out loud also assists. Trace over the word in the grid with your finger and say the letters out loud.
A handy feature in many of the Astraware games is a context sensitive help! If you tap and hold on one of the words, as well as giving you the definition, it will highlight each of occurrences of the first letter of that word in the grid. So if the word is VENERATE - tapping and holding it will highlight all of the letter Vs in the grid, which is often a great way to find the words a little faster!
You can also tap and hold on any letter in the grid, and it will highlight all of the other occurrences of the same letter. This is very useful for finding words that might have a common letter at the start of the word, but a rarer letter in the middle. For example, for the word OBSEQUIOUS, tapping the word would highlight all of the Os, but there might be a lot of them. Tapping on a Q in the grid however will show far fewer letters as Q isn't such a common letter.
Another great way to reinforce your vocabulary is to use the hint function - press the '? Hint' item at the very top of the screen, and it will sparkle over one of the letters in the grid. That letter will be the start of one of the words that you haven't found yet.
You can use this by looking at the list to find a word starting with that letter, but you can also make it more of a vocabulary challenge by looking at the various directions from that hinted letter, and seeing which makes a word that you are familiar with. By doing this you'll reinforce the spelling and familiarity of the word - and when you get it looped you'll see the definition too.
Timer and Clock
At the top of the screen there's a timer - you can use this to keep an eye on how long it's taking you to complete a puzzle, or if you prefer to take your time, tap on this and it will switch to being a clock showing the current time!
To find out more about ways to improve the educational benefits of playing our Vocabulary wordsearches - check out this article too!