Any content. Any course. Game on!
Here’s a super easy activity to add a fun bit of kinesthetic learning, student choice, and team vs. team mischief (!!!) to any close reading exercise. Works in any content area! My sample game from The Great Gatsby is posted here (it was really a great fit in a chapter where we were talking about color imagery and crumbling facades!) — but you can quickly re-skin and re-purpose this activity for use in your classroom!
Using a Sharpie (or printed labels), put numbers on each of the 54 blocks in a standard Jenga game. You can either number each block individually from 1-54, or you can divide the blocks into two groups of 36 and double with two of each number (or divide into four sets of 18, etc.).
Project a series of numbered look-for items on the overhead board, and start a countdown timer. Like so:
Collect as many “blocks” from the Jenga tower as possible. Each block is numbered, and the numbers correspond with a specific “look for item” listed on the overhead board. For each block that you select, work with your teammates and scour the source text to find an example of that look for item. Mark your finding (including page number) on the score sheet at your desk group.
You can collect ANY block you’d like (even the top row), but you may only collect one block at a time. If you get stuck, you can even put blocks back on top of the tower to make the challenge *that much harder* for a rival team!
If the tower falls, you lose all of your blocks. The team with the most blocks when time expires wins.