Contact Katharine Hutchinson for further information about this technique.


You need a set of Jenga bricks for each group of 2-4 students. Write numbers on each of the bricks (I usually use a set of 30 and number them 1-30).

How to play:

Students start by defining the key words that will be used in the task. These could be listed in advance by the teacher or could be chosen by the students. The definitions should be written down so that they can refer to them later on in the game. Each key word is given a number (or multiple numbers) so that when a student selects the brick they know which key word it relates to.

Students build the Jenga tower. 

Students take it in turns to pull a brick from the tower.

When it is their turn they take a brick from within the tower (NOT the top layer) and define the word on it. The other players should check their definition.

If the definition is correct, the student returns their brick to the top of the tower. Play then passes to the next person. If the definition is incorrect, they must replace the brick on the top of the tower and then play again.

The loser is the person who knocks the tower down.