How to Build a Word Search Word List By Theme

word search word list by theme

Whether you wish to construct a word search, a crossword puzzle, or a word list for some other activity, it helps to start with a theme. A theme helps solvers understand the scope of the puzzle, it builds vocabulary, and it can be a lot of fun for certain events. With a little thought and creativity, you can build a word search word list by theme in a matter of minutes.


Drawing Your Own Words For Your Theme

When building a word search word list by theme, you may feel overwhelmed with options. Or maybe you’re drawing a blank. Either way, these tips will help you create a preliminary word list, then narrow the list down to a succinct and perfect selection.

Let’s use Harry Potter as an example theme. Harry Potter’s world consists of wands, owls, magic, Hogwarts, Butterbeer, his friends Hermione and Ron, muggles, and more. Considering Harry Potter originated in book form, you could choose for a seemingly endless amount of words. Start by pulling out one (or all) of the books and selecting words from the original source.

Now that you have a couple of words in mind for a Harry Potter theme (or your unique theme), notice certain trends within the words. With books, you can create a word list just for character names. Within Harry Potter, there are also unique words pertaining to the magical world itself. Maybe you create a word search out of the list of items you will need to pick up during your trip to Diagon Alley. You could also create a word search word list for each of the Hogwarts houses.

If your theme is a little more generic than a single book, think of all of the elements that made you want to choose that theme in the first place. Decade themes provide a great example. A ‘70s themed word list could list famous people from the decade, clothing that was popular, historical events from the decade, and so much more.

In other words, decide how specific or generic you would like your theme to be. Then draw words from that element of the theme rather than trying to tackle every aspect of the theme.


Using Word List Resources

You may have enough words on your own from the first exercise. If not, you can also look up different word lists or other resources to help you build a word search word list by theme. A comprehensive list for general words such as this one can help. A thesaurus – either online or paperback – will give you unique words as well. Finally, you can see if anyone has built a word search with the same theme before. This glossary exists for Harry Potter words alone! You can use these to get your own ideas going for your word list.

One final and clear-cut way to build a word search word list by theme is to look at other word searches with the same theme. Here’s a wonderful Harry Potter word search one individual made.


You can search our puzzles for ones that fit your theme, too. Open the “Find” button in your browser (with “Ctrl-F” on Windows or “Command-F” on Mac), then search the name of your theme.


Whenever you’re ready, go ahead and make your own puzzle! Remember – even if you don’t have a final word list, you can create one right in the word search maker. Just add words straight into the puzzle as you think of them. Plus, you can go back and change your word list at any time.


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