A1 Adult colors colours Games Infant numbers Primary Secondary Speaking Uncategorised Vocabulary

Jenga game adapted for the ESL classroom

Here’s a classic game that you can adapt and use to teach colours and numbers in the ESL/ESOL classroom. It’s fun too!

What is it?… Jenga!

I bought a colour jenga set that came with a colour dice, though you can just paint the blocks of a normal jenga. I then wrote numbers on both ends, so that they would be visible when stacked.

As normal dice will be used, it’s important that you only use combinations of numbers that use 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. It’s also a good idea to have more of the single numbers, as these come up more often… as will become apparent.

There are 60 blocks in total in my set. Here’s a full list of the numbers that it works best to use:

1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66.

If you have fewer blocks, then take out the doubles and triples.

How do you play it?

  • You will need 2 normal (1 to 6) dice.
  • Students throw both dice.
  • They can then remove a block from the tower, in the usual way that you play jenga, and place it on the top of the tower.
  • The difference is, they can only remove blocks that contain a combination of the numbers, or by adding or subtracting the numbers. For example, if they rolled a 4 and a 3, they could remove 4, 3, 43, 34, 4+3=7 or 4-3=1
  • As in the normal rules of Jenga, you cannot take a block from the top 3 rows at any point in the game and you can only use one hand (you can relax this rule if it’s smaller children playing).

If you get the students to say all the numbers they can use before they take a block, it works as a great way to practice double unit numbers in English. With smaller kids, it’s also a good way to practice simple maths.

That’s it! There are no downloads, but if you need a Jenga, you can get them off Amazon, Aliexpress, or pretty much any toy website. Here’s a 60-block one I found.

Here is a link to my TikTok video explaining how to play:

A1 Games Infant Materials Present Simple Speaking

Autumn Tree Infant Bingo Game

This game was developed to play while teaching about Autumn. I usually have a range of activities to do for each subject. Such as a song, game, worksheet, craft, etc. I didn’t have a game to play, so I made this one.

Setting up

There are tree boards and leaf tokens. Print off the pdf file linked at the bottom and print out as many of the tree boards as you need and laminate them. There are 2 to a page. You need one per student. I have maximum 8 students in a class, so I can play as a whole group, or in two teams of 4.

You will also need to print off and cut out the leaves. There are the other 2 pages of the pdf and you will need to print them off back to back. So the leaves on one side of the paper and the number squares on the back. The pages should line up on any printer. Laminate and cut all the squares out.

You can use either a number dice (1-6) to practise numbers or a colour dice if you prefer to practise colours. You can pick these up online quite cheaply, or make your own spinner. The colours needed are red, blue, green, yellow, purple and orange.

How to play

  1. Give each student a tree board.
  2. Place the leaf cards, number side up, on the table in the middle and spread them out evenly over the table.
  3. Students take it in turns to throw the dice and depending which type of dice you are using, choose a card which has either the same number, or colour as the dice show.
  4. The student needs to complete their tree with one leaf of each colour. There are red, yellow, orange, brown and green leaves. If their tree doesn’t have the leaf they pick up, they put it on their tree. If it does, they can either swap it or return it. I always give little ones this choice, as makes them feel like they have done something, rather than lose a turn.

As their trees fill up, it will get harder to find the leaves they need to complet it, so it can last anything from 15-30 minutes depending on the size of group and their luck! Therefore, it’s a good way to practice colours and numbers with an autumn theme to fit in with your curriculum and planning.

I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s the download link for the PDF :