Engage Activity explained: News Puzzles (crossword or word definition activities)

The vocabulary puzzles provide instant feedback to pupils throughout and no marking is required by the teacher.

Progress through an Engage activity is shown in the status bar at the top. Stage A is always the article, there are then a series of questions, followed by the pupil’s activity scorecard as the final stage, marked by an S.


Crossword activities
The crossword clues are all definitions or synonyms for words in the news story. The activity will pick out specialist and subject specific words and phrases to develop children's understanding of the topic in the report, as well as picking out tricky and interesting words to further support vocabulary development and spelling. The word class is also given as part of the clue.

Pupils score 30 points for words identified correctly first time, and 10 points if an error is made before identifying the word.

Pupils use the 'Show article' tab to reread the article as they work through.


All crosswords finish with three multiple choice questions that focus on the news story as a whole, rather than individual words, to check that pupils have understood the story.

Word definition puzzles


After reading the article, the first part of a Word definition puzzle is to match words to their definitions. These are all words that are used in the news report.

The next stage is a close analysis activity where pupils have to put these words back into the article.

This is then followed by two multiple choice questions to guide pupils to think about the whole news story and to check their understanding.

Like the crosswords, word definition puzzles give pupils instant feedback and require no teacher marking.