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Reading Programs and Language Games

Diminish Puzzle Book

by Michael Milone, PhD

Diminish is the most versatile word game you will ever play. It is suitable for players of any age or ability level. The game consists of a 10 by 10 grid filled with random letters in the same frequency as they occur in English words. The object of the game is to find as many words on the grid as possible by combining adjacent letters in any direction: up, down, left, right, backward, forward, or diagonal. Once a letter is used, it cannot be used again, so as the puzzle is solved, the number of available letters diminishes.

Created by a research psychologist, Diminish promotes word recognition, involves strategic planning, and lets students of different abilities compete with one another or work independently.

Different players will find different words. When students work a Diminish puzzle, they recall familiar words, learn to scan text to look for meaningful words, and best of all, they think about what they are doing. Here are some tips that teachers might find useful:

  • Introduce Diminish by solving a puzzle as a class activity
  • Have teams of students solve the same Diminish puzzle
  • Have students solve a Diminish puzzle in small groups comprising students of different ability levels
  • Challenge the more advanced students to try to find the longest word they can

Diminish Puzzle book contains 122 unique puzzles that can be copied and used over and over as a fun classroom supplement.

Recommended Ages: All Ages

Pages: 128 pp., 8-1/2x11, softcover

ISBN: 978-1-57128-516-4

Publisher:  Arena Press


Item No.






Diminish Puzzle Book, 8 1/2x11, 128 pp., Softcover


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