I adapted this sheet below to say 'happy valentines day' on the bottom. You can't see my lines very well because I copied it too lightly... :(
I made enough copies for my kiddos.
When I introduced it, I modeled how to do the activity... cut apart the letters, made blends we've learned, added vowels, etc. until I had made a few short words. I also wrote my words down.
When I handed it out they got right to work and it took them about 25 minutes to get 20 words... and they were working hard the whole time. I did give them a couple hints though. I put up the words 'at' and 'in' on the board and reminded them that they could add letters to them.
I made a grid on the whiteboard and invited each student to come up and write 3 words they made... not duplicating words that were already written. They're o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with writing on the board. I mean obsessed. So, the ending was their favorite.
They did really well and I can tell their spelling has improved tremendously, as spelling is one of those EFL skills hardest to master. They do a great job of putting together chunks of sounds they already know.
There are tons of ways to adapt this activity. It can be done as whole group, small group, partner work, centers (after they've done it once before), etc. You can make paper letter tiles each time or use some you already have. I used little plastic letter tiles when I had this as a cernter. You can choose any word (6 or more letters works best) and it's easy to make it relate to your current unit of study. Studying animals? Use the word animal! You can even use a phrase... "we love animals." More words that way!
I even use it with my high school EFL students. It's great for any English language learner... gets them thinking about all the English words they already know. I put a minimum letter count so they avoid writing down a ton of short easy words.
Sites to generate lists of words that can be made from a specific word:
ScrabbleFinder.com (up to 12 letters)
WordSolver.net (up to 15 letters)
Wordplays (up to 16 letters)
Wordles (up to 30 letters)
Making Words Printables
I posted all of the adaptable sheets I use on TPT fo $2.
You'll get a ZIP file with...
14 recording sheets (similar to the one above, but different styles for various needs
5 different word/letter strips to adapt before copying
1 workmat for the kids (I laminated a few to use when I do this as a center)