Posted by: bluesyemre | August 16, 2018

#Library #Jenga (A brilliant idea for library orientation and inductions)

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Ok… I needed a way to spruce up Library Orientation…and fast. After reflecting on my practice the last few years I knew that the students needed to be instructed on how to use the catalog, but I needed to make it fun and interactive. Library Jenga was a HIT!

First, I took five classic Jenga sets and attached numbered stickers to roughly half of the blocks in each set (around 25 each). Then, I made a Google Form (the password is “BOOKJENGAPURPLE”–all capital letters, all one word) that allowed students to select numbers from a drop down menu. Each number represented a book. Once a number was selected the title and author of a book in the collection would be displayed on the Google Form.

The books I chose were the top 50 books from the previous year as well as our state student choice award nominees (Golden Sowers), and some great nonfiction books that I thought deserved some air time. This totaled 125 books (25 books per group, times 5 groups). While it took longer to set up, the activity today went smoothly because the students were not racing after the same books on the shelves.

I then divided the students into five different colored groups (one Jenga game per group).

Students, using the catalog, searched for the book. Once it was located, they added it to their book tower. (As a point of reference the tallest tower was 12 books high.)

To create some organization to the chaos, I assigned each table member a role. These included:

  1. Architect
  2. Researcher
  3. Search Party
  4. Cheerleader

Here are the descriptions of each role that I placed at each seat. Once a book was added to the tower, all members had to rotate to a new position.

Here’s a snap shot of the explanation I gave to the students.


The students loved the game and did a great job at locating the books in the library. I will definitely use this activity again…and the best part is that the Jenga games can be reused for review games, to make worksheets a little more bearable, or to have out as a game to play in the library.

While it took a bit of work to set up, I will definitely use this activity again because it not only helped my students build their knowledge about the library, but also it showcased their ability to work together as a team.

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