Using Jenga in the Classroom
A few years ago, I saw another teacher use colored Jenga blocks in a whole-group activity. The students were doing a math activity and each color represented a step in the process. This class was an higher grade level, so it got me to thinking about how I could adapt this for my kindergarten class! I started buying mini Jenga sets whenever I could and creating games that my students could use. What I found was that my students were engaged and actually practicing the skills that would help them grow academically. That is a win-win in my teacher book!
What Games Can My Students Play Using Jenga?
Once I started making Jenga games, I couldn’t stop! Haha. Here are a few of the games that I created using Jenga/Tumbling Tower blocks. I am also adding a few suggestions for upper grades as well.
- Letter ID (Uppercase & Lowercase)
- Beginning Sounds
- Ending Sounds
- Rhyming Words
- Word Families
- Number ID
- Number Representations
- Sight Words
- CVC Words
- Phonics Patterns
- Silly Sentences
- Topic Stems
Accountability with Jenga Games
I often get asked, when providing professional development to teachers, how I hold my students accountable during these type of center activities or games. The answer for these Jenga games is recording sheets. I created simple recording sheets to go with several of the games I made. This allows the students to have fun and practice their skills, but turn in a recording sheet of progress, if required.
How to Make a Classroom Jenga Game
I first began purchasing mini Jenga games, but then I found out that the Dollar Tree sells mini ‘Tumbling Tower’ games for only $1!! Get outta my way…I’m on my way to the Dollar Tree!
I bought several sets of these and then used a Flair Pen to write the academic skills on the end of each blog. Here a few tips that I learned.
- I used a Fine-Point Sharpie and it bled. Instead I used a fine-point Flair pen and it worked without bleeding
- You do NOT have to use all of the blocks in the game. I used between 20-26 blocks for each game
- Teach how to play the game whole-group with you modeling each step
- This can be used during whole-group, small-group, partner work or even independently.
Jenga Tumbling Towers Recording Sheets
Are you looking for recording sheets to accompany your Jenga Tumbling Towers games? Check out what I created HERE!