Have you ever created a rebus puzzle? I have to say that I think they are extremely difficult, but really fun. I have seen this really help students with critical thinking skills, perseverance, vocabulary development, and creativity.
So, what is a rebus? It is a picture representation of a name or phrase. Pictures (emojis) are made with letters and words, which form a cryptic puzzle. I think this is more difficult for adults rather than school-aged students because in their world, this is how so many of them communicate when texting or using social media. So, why not bring this in for learning?
Try these puzzles that my students and I have created to see if you can solve them? They vary in difficultly.
Answers at the end of this post! :)
Part 1: So, how to make a rebus? There are lots of online rebus generators, my favorite is here. This is a great way to get kids interested and understanding the puzzles. I would recommend having them start with their name. Then, they can start creating basic words, such as phone, flower, chair, colors, etc. I had my students take screen shots of their created puzzles and drop them on a Keynote slide. Then, they switched computers with a partner to see if they could solve one another’s puzzles.
Part 2: Create your own rebus puzzle and sentences. Here’s my example:
For this, you can use the built in emojis in your computer or iPad (on computer: control+⌘+space). I find that the emojis are really difficult to see, so my favorite website to find emojis or symbols is copypastecharacter.com. This will also teach students to navigate through two open windows on their computer and practice copy/paste skills as well.
All you do is click on the character you want to copy and toggle back to Keynote and press ⌘V. Then, I just had students insert text to add the +- symbols as well as the additional text. This can be carried over into students creating stories with pictures (taking out the + and -) and using the emojis to create pictorial stories.
When my students were creating these, I was truly blown away at their concentration and perseverance to figure these out. Some of them were very difficult, but it was fun and kids have been putting a rebus puzzles under my door and on my desk with hand-drawn pictures, which I think is awesome!
Other websites/apps to practice creating a rebus:
Answers to the puzzles above:
- Sentence: “I went to school.”