September 14, 2012

Articulation Jenga

Jenga or Tumbling Towers is one of my favorite therapy games.

Students of all ages from elementary through high school love it. It is quick to set up, and there are very few rules, so it is easy to throw it in at the end of a session for reinforcement. They get really excited when the tower grows super high, and they crack up when it finally falls over.

Not only is the game easy and entertaining, but you can also get extra practice towards your therapy goals while having fun at the same time. Today I modified my Jenga game to target various phonemes for my articulation students. Using my Webber Jumbo Articulation Drill Book, I typed up a list of words targeting a few different phonemes that are common goals of my artic students.

Target phonemes this time include /s/, /th/, /l/, and /k/ in initial, medial, and final positions. I copied each list onto a different color paper, cut them apart, and taped them onto the blocks. You can download the four different lists here.

I also made a star block in each color. When my students pull the block with the star, they earn an extra turn, or extra sticker, or whatever motivates them.

The words took a while to cut apart and tape on, but now it is ready to go! It will also be easy to switch out words to target different phonemes if needed.

This game is not just for articulation students either. Here are a few ways to use the game to target other goal areas:

- students must use the word they draw in a grammatically complete sentence
- students must think of an adjective to describe the word on their block
- students define the word drawn
- name the appropriate category the word would fit in, or name other words associated with the word on the block
- if appropriate, name a synonym or antonym for the given word
- one side of your blocks could target words with multiple meanings

- depending on the level the student is working at, practice easy speech at the word, phrase, or sentence level

*Phonemic Awareness:
- identify the initial/medial/final phoneme in the word
- segment the word into individual phonemes
- name a word that rhymes

The possibilities are endless! It is such a fun game to use with students of all ages. I think they love it almost as much as I do :)

Leave a Comment: What was your favorite board game as a child?


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  2. Very cool. I have middle schoolers and they are tough to engage. They would love this though!

    1. That is such a tough age group. The middle schoolers I worked with last year LOVED Jenga. Hope your students like it!

  3. I do this with elementary and write the words on the blocks with a permanent marker. I have a generic Jenga from Walmart called Tumble Towers which is a lot cheaper, so I can have one game for each sound (s, r, blends, th).

  4. I make card decks so I don't need to attach anything to the blocks. In fact, students can each have their own deck, depending on their target sounds, and still play together. They all love the Jenga game!