Tetris Jenga – Reviewing Nets, Surface Area and Volume


I make part of the review for the test on Surface Area and Volume a series of stations that review different concepts from the unit.   One of the stations is a Tetris Jenga game.     This is a variation on the traditional Jenga game in which the blocks are the shape of Tetris blocks.     The variation in shape lends additional challenge to the usual Jenga game.   It also provides some interesting 3-dimensional shapes to explore.


At this station, I have set up the Tetris Jenga tower.   A player draws a block from the tower and must perform the task on the block.   Each block has a label directing the student to make a net, find the surface area of the block, or find the volume of the block.    Because the blocks are 1/2 unit thick, the task also requires students to practice these tasks with fractional values.     I have an answer key at the station so that students can verify the accuracy of their work.

In a normal game of Jenga, successfully drawing out the block ends a turn.   I require the students to correctly find the net, surface area, or volume to keep the block.   I have an answer key with the station so that students can check their result.   If the solution is incorrect, the player must put the block back on the top of the tower.


I also change the winning criteria. Normally, the person who knocks the tower down is out of the game.   I don’t want anyone to stop playing  Instead of being out of the game, the player who knocks down the tower must put all of his or her blocks back and rebuild the tower.   The winner of the game is the player who has amassed the most blocks at the end of the game.  The prize is a piece of candy.

I bring this game out again from time to time after the conclusion of the unit to keep the concepts of nets, surface area, and volume fresh.   I have students play it during the last five to ten minutes of class every so often.   This keeps the concepts fresh for those who have mastered it and gives me a chance to do some re-teaching with students who don’t quite have full mastery at the end of the unit.