Updated: Oct 31, 2018
Customize your Jenga game for a great Thanksgiving classroom activity
by Tim Walsh
A few years ago I pitched Hasbro, the makers of Jenga, an idea for a Thanksgiving edition of everyone's favorite block game. They passed, so this game never made it to market. But who's more resourceful than teachers?! It's easy to make your own Thanksgiving Edition of Jenga as a classroom discussion game or writing prompt activity.
Each block is customized with questions that inspire conversation and an attitude of gratitude. The play is simple. On your turn, pull a block without toppling the tower, and read the question aloud. Next, share your answer OR share something you're thankful for that begins with the letter written in bold on the block you pulled. To end your turn, place the block on top of the tower.
All the usual Jenga rules apply. The player who last executes his or her turn successfully when the tower falls is the winner. Yet, in this edition, everyone wins!
Other prompts I used in my version of the game included:
Describe your favorite vacation
Who's your best friend and why?
How is the person to your right nice?
What the best thing about your school?
Which national landmark do you think is the coolest?
What does family mean to you?
What do you love about where you live?
What does peace mean to you?
What's the most amazing thing you learned this year?
What's your favorite hobby?
What do you appreciate about the person to your left?
What's your favorite pet?
My family and I have played this game many times during the holidays and it's very thought-provoking. It's all the fun of Jenga, plus it will make your students more thoughtful and thankful!