The Word Game Taking the Internet by Storm

What is Wordle?

Players guess a random five-letter word in six tries. Feedback is given to the player after each guess about which letters are in the correct spot, which letters are in the word but in the wrong spot, and which letters are not in the word in any spot. The puzzle can only be played once a day on the Wordle site with a new Wordle released daily.

As seen in the picture below, players can share their daily challenge results with friends and family without giving away the word.

The story behind Wordle is sweet, and some would even say romantic. A software engineer from Brooklyn named Josh Wardle created a prototype of the game in 2013, but his friends thought it was sort of lame so he put it aside. He dusted it off in 2019 and shared it with his wife, who loves word games, as a way to pass the time during their pandemic quarantine. After he and his wife played it for a few months, they shared the game in Wardle’s family WhatsApp group. Everyone who played loved it so he shared it with the world in October 2021. This game has gone from a few people playing in November to more than 3 million players around the world.

Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom

While Wordle is a great outlet for word lovers, it’s also a great reminder for educators about the key components of the Science of Reading. For students to be successful with words, they must be provided with explicit, structured phonics and spelling instruction, lots of opportunities for reading, and exposure to an environment rich in vocabulary-building experiences. If we think about it, word building is a form of Wordle that has been used to develop word reading and spelling skills in younger students for a long time.

You can ride the wave of the Wordle craze by creating Wordle games for your students. Here are some suggestions on how you can use Wordle in the classroom for learning.

  • Warm-up or bell ringer to review from a lesson the day before.
  • Introduce a new vocabulary word. Once they’ve solved the Wordle, have them look up the definition of the word.
  • Celebrate holidays or other important events with a themed Wordle.
  • Introduce or reinforce a lesson.
  • Give students letter tiles for tactile word building.

Teacher Christina Nosek created the Wordle game for her classroom with chart paper and a laminator. She plays the game with her fifth graders and notes that the game has opened up important discussions about letter placement and phonics rules.

If you’re looking for other Wordle inspired games for your classroom, check out this list of free word and number games

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to solve today’s Wordle. Have you solved it yet?

Teia Hoover Baker is an educator, published author, and entrepreneur. She is an innovative, devoted educator whose career has been dedicated to coordinating programs that support struggling learners. Her passion is meeting students where they are and guiding them to excel. Her main focus is always what is best for children. Teia holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s of Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being Lovie to her growing grandchildren.

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