Hangman : A Great Word Game

 When was the last time you played Hangman? When it comes to good word puzzle games, it’s hard to top.  It can be adapted for puzzlers of all ages and can be used in a variety of settings.  It’s also a great game for the brain because it really gets you thinking.



History of Hangman

According to Tony Auguard’s Oxford Guide to Word Games (2003), Hangman dates back to the Victorian era (1837-1901), which clearly indicates people have recognised its benefits for many years.  It is really the most basic form of crossword puzzle, because you are deciphering one word at a time, based on the clue and the letters you have available.  Once you have enough letters, you are able to solve the puzzle.


A Great Game to Play in the Classroom

Hangman is a great classroom activity.  Teachers can make vocabulary fun to learn for their students.   It is far more interactive than some spelling ‘rote learning’ methods, and far more enjoyable. The students themselves may even forget they are learning because they are having so much fun!  I have great memories of playing Hangman as a young primary school student.  The teacher would divide the class into teams.  There were times when it became quite competitive.  The best thing is you are constantly thinking about what letters might be in the puzzle, which is great for your brain!


Boost Your Vocabulary

Hangman is useful for revising spelling words or for boosting general knowledge.  You can use common nouns, proper nouns (names of people and places) or perhaps have a famous quote and the ‘guessing’ players have to guess who said it to solve the puzzle.  The scope for clues is as big as your imagination.


A Game For Everyone

Hangman can be played in a number of different ways.  If there are only two or three players, it is easy just to use a piece of paper and pencil.  However, if you are playing in a larger group such as the classroom, or even an aged care diversional therapy setting, a blackboard/whiteboard is far more effective because it easier for everyone to see the diagram and how many guesses they have left.  Hangman is not only a game for children.  It is equally popular with adults.  The iconic game-show Wheel of Fortune is based on its principles.  It is a great way to have your daily dose of mental stimulation.

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