Tips for Learning New Vocabulary Words

Strategies for Unscrambling Words

 

The act of unscrambling words is a part of most students' school experience. These types of puzzles are provided as a way to add creativity and fun to learning while promoting critical thinking and developing reading skills.  However, many become frustrated with this task because they are unsure of their abilities. The following tips can help make the art of unscrambling words less difficult.

Take Your Time
When set with the task of unscrambling words, students should not try to rush, but focus and take their time. As a result, they keep a clear head, which ultimately leads lead to finding the answers more efficiently.  If students allow themselves to become frustrated, creativity is stifled and frustration takes over. Spending a few minutes to concentrate on the letters themselves ensures familiarity, which in many cases, aids in solving the puzzle.

Separate Vowels from Consonants
One tip that works well for some people is to separate the vowels from the consonants.  This helps to view the letters individually instead of seeing the group as a word that often does not make sense.  Additionally, taking note of how many vowels are available can be helpful in putting the letters together to form words.  However, it may be easier to determine which of the consonants go together. In addition, separating the vowels from the consonants helps with figuring out letter combinations.

Look for Letter Combinations
Many letters in the English language are always found with other letters.  For example, the letter “q” is rarely found without the letter “u” preceding it.  Think of common combinations like this and try to put them together.  Other examples include letter combinations such as “ch”, and “sh”.  “cr” and “ph” are less common, but are still found together quite often. As a result of looking for letter combinations, words may begin to jump out at you, increasing your success rate at solving puzzles.  

Write it Down
Another great tip is to write down the possibilities.  In addition, cross off letters that have already been used, so it is easy to see what letters remain. Some people like to write the letters in a circular pattern, such as that of a clock.  In many cases, viewing the letters in a different pattern often helps the brain to come up with other possible combinations. However, writing down all the combinations can be very helpful because doing so triggers more possibilities.

Unscrambling words can be a fun challenge. Following a few simple strategies can help you to do it faster and more efficiently.  However, as in any activity, the more you play, the better you become. Don't give up; eventually, certain patterns will become obvious and you will find you are a pro at unscrambling words.