A Quick Word

Popular online word game “Wordle” takes FHC by storm


Keaton Frye

A student kicking off their game of Wordle with the word adieu, FHC’s most popular starting word.

Every Monday as the bell rings to mark the beginning of sixth hour, students in Mrs. Sarah Larue’s class whip out their phones to complete the day’s Wordle. The atmosphere is electric as students race to solve the puzzle; the fastest students are rewarded for their success.

Bright and early each morning, people at FHC and beyond flock to Wordle to try their hand at solving the day’s puzzle. Similar to the classic game Mastermind, Wordle gives players six chances to guess a five-letter word. Based on each guess, letters are highlighted in one of three colors: green for a letter in the correct spot, yellow for a letter in the wrong spot, and grey for a letter that doesn’t appear in the correct word. Though the premise is simple, the game has garnered worldwide attention and admiration.

While many discovered the game on Twitter or TikTok, for a few FHC students, their Wordle journey began in the classroom. Creative Writing teachers Mrs. Melissa Fry and Mrs. Sarah LaRue have utilized the game as a warm-up activity for their students.

“We do a Wordle challenge where the kids just have to complete the Wordle and the first three people [to complete it] are the winners,” Mrs. LaRue said.

In Mrs. LaRue’s sixth hour, a student works on their third guess in the hopes of winning the Wordle competition. (Keaton Frye)

Mrs. LaRue believes playing the game will produce tangible benefits for her students.

“It just kind of stretches your thinking,” Mrs. LaRue said. “It is critical thinking in a way, so that can always be tied to English.”

Wordle enthusiast and TA for Mrs. LaRue, AJ Vargas sees multiple benefits in playing the game.

“It expands my vocabulary,” Vargas said. “If I don’t get the word immediately then I go throughout the day trying to solve it in my brain, and that’s really fun.”

Outside of educational benefits, Vargas has benefited socially from playing Wordle.

“It gives you something to talk about,” Vargas said. “It’s a good conversation starter.”

Senior Zach Fults first learned of the game on Twitter, but has enjoyed getting to play it in his Creative Writing class. Like Vargas, he enjoys being able to talk with his peers about the daily puzzle.

“The great part about the game is that everybody has the same [puzzle] and it’s once a day, so you get to compare to your friends,” Fults said. “It’s almost as much a social cue to the conversation as it is a game for yourself.”

Every Wordle player has their own strategy, and for most, that strategy includes starting off the game off with the same word every day. This so-called starting word varies from person to person. Fults begins each puzzle with the word irate.

“I saw [irate] on TikTok,” Fults said. “It’s the three most common vowels and the two most common consonants.”

On the other hand, Vargas uses the word audio.

“It has so many vowels,” Vargas said. “It gives [me] something just to jump off of.”

Although the initial rise of Wordle can be attributed to social media, the game’s ability to inspire creative problem solving and unite people has turned Wordle into something much bigger than just an online game.

“[Wordle] gives you the option to be creative while at the same time constraining you to a goal,” Fults said. “You get to be creative while problem-solving, and you get to use your experience in life to come up with words and strategy.”