Word Wheel

The Word Wheel ESL game is a common puzzle in which students have to make words from nine letters arranged in the shape of a wheel, always using the centre letter.

Students for Word Wheel ESL Game:1+Time for Word Wheel ESL Game:5-10 mins
Resources for Word Wheel ESL Game:
Internet and Projector or Prepared Puzzle

If you have an Internet connection and a projector, just use our interactive Word Wheel game.

Otherwise, you will need to prepare the letters for a puzzle. Use our online tool beforehand, or use any suitable nine letter word (containing commonly used letters). Eight letters are arranged in a circle, with one letter in the centre.

Students can play this game individually, or in pairs.

  1. Present the wheel of letters.
  2. Students have two, three or five minutes to find and write down as many words as they can. Each word can use each letter only once, and must use the centre letter. Each word must be at least three letters long.
  3. At the end of the time, review the words the students have made (asking each student/pair in turn to contribute one).
  4. A point is gained for each valid word. There is also the nine-letter word, which you could award bonus points for. The player(s) with the most points at the end wins.

To make things more competitive, you could also ask students to swap papers before checking the words.

Target Language

The Word Wheel ESL game is an quick, easy warmer for intermediate or advanced students. Like other similar word games, it has the advantage that students who join late can start as they come in. For a longer warmer, you could do multiple puzzles.

For similar word games that are great for higher-level warmers, try Boggle and Countdown.

Got a picture or video of this activity in action? How about snapping one next time you use it? We'd love to showcase your submissions- find out more here.