UPDATE 6/19/2022: Liam at Fourword just notified me that he built a new section of the site just for teachers so you can make your own 4-letter word ladders! Click here to make a custom Fourword puzzle!
In yesterday’s post about Spellie, the Wordle variation designed for younger players, I referred to the original post by Jacob Cohen where I found that link and many more. Another daily online puzzle he made me aware of is called, “Fourword.” This is a word ladder game, where you are given a beginning and ending word, then tasked with changing one letter at a time of the beginning word to make the ending word in as few moves as possible. Each step of the “ladder” has to spell a real word. I find it to be quite as addictive as Wordle, so it’s now on my home screen as one of the daily games I do when I need a break from work or crazy dogs.
According to this post by Ian Byrd, Word Ladders were invented by Lewis Carroll. Donna Lasher, in an article about language fun for younger students, was the first one to introduce me to the Word Ladder books for elementary students, which you can see by clicking on the affiliate link in her post. If you want to make your own Word Ladder puzzles, here is a generator (FYI, there is a minor grammatical issue when you print out the instructions). And here are some printable ones — definitely for older students. This page gives you suggested games and solutions, which I find quite helpful. Sporcle also has Word Ladder Quizes, though mostly designed for age 10 and up. Of course, it’s inevitable that you can find a way to cheat (I mean, “get hints that give you the actual answers”) on the internet, so I’ll save you some time searching for that site by linking a Word Ladder solver here.
I’ll be adding this post, along with Jacob Cohen’s “Puzzles for Progress” site, to my “Brainteasers and Puzzles” Collection. You can go there or directly to my Wordle Variations collection for links to specific Wordle games. And, visit my Wakelet home page if you’d like to follow me for updates or see my other collections.