Look at how tall they got it!

Ahhhh, the classic build-it-up just to knock-it-down game. Now here’s another game that at first glance you might think is unsuited to English class, but here you’d be wrong. With a sharpie and some imagination, you can transform this game of blocks to a hilarious, engaging game, great for parties, for sub lessons, or for targeted language practice.

This game, like many of my games, takes it’s inspiration from a drinking game. At some point in what I hazily remember to be college, at a party was a truth or dare style Jenga game, where every piece had some sort of direction written on it that the puller had to perform, like “Drink” or “Run around the room” or many more risqué things that are lost to the shifting sands of my memory/shame.

So one day I looked at an old Jenga game I had collecting dust on the game shelf and decided to replicate this game with my students, but in a more English-friendly way.

And I had my students make it.

I brought the pieces to a class and gave them each one piece and directions that went something like this:

“Okay, for this one, everyone write, ‘Go Again!'” I wrote this on the board for them to copy, picked up their pieces and then gave them new blocks.

“Now on this one, have the person ask the teacher a question.” The students wrote the question first on a piece of paper and then I checked their sentences before they wrote on their block.

More ideas were: “Now have them do something funny;” “Write ‘Act like a/n __________ (animal);” and “Write a ‘Have you ever’ question.”

Normally we play this on party days, but occasionally I use it as a warm-up. It’s great for loosening the students up!