Teacher’s File Drawer: Puzzle Fun/Paul Revere’s Wild Ride

“Listen my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.”

Today is the anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride. Celebrate it by reading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem and making a puzzle together to challenge your friends.

After you have enjoyed Longfellow’s narrative poem, brainstorm words you associate with Paul Revere and his mission that April night. Here’s a few that can give you a start: silversmith, British, lantern… Now think of and list some more.

When you have completed your list, ten to twenty words at least, get out some graph paper and try laying out and connecting your words, scrabble style, so they have points of intersection with one another. After you have placed all the words you want to include, starting at the top left corner and moving across row by row, number the boxes containing the first letters of your words.

Next, trace your word-grid onto another piece of graph paper, or photocopy it—white out the words—and photocopy it again so you have an empty grid your friends can fill out.

On a separate piece of paper, write the number for each word and a clue to describe it. For example, for the word “silversmith” your clue might read, “What did Paul Revere do for a living?” Make separate lists for the words that go crossways and the words that go down.

Have fun building your puzzle, and when you are done, find a friend or family member and challenge them to complete it. If they need a little help, read them Longfellow’s poem. Celebrate Paul Revere’s fateful ride.