Towering Block ZONK Review Game

There’s an App in the iTunes store called the “Zonk Review Game”.  It looked like a fun, interactive game. Unfortunately, there was a small fee to purchase which made it a “no go” for me as my school district doesn’t pay for Apps.  I started asking myself how I could adapt this game using games I already had…and guess what? I figured out that I could use my towering block games as a substitute for the digital game.  The beauty of this adaptation is that it’s still interactive, still competitive and easy to create and use. And if that wasn’t enough…this activity gets bonus points because I can reuse it over and over again in any content area.  Read on to find out how you too can adapt and create this game for your own classroom review games.


Prep Work

First, number all of the your tower blocks from 1 to however many blocks there are. I have some towers that have 54 blocks and some that have 36. Note: if you don’t want to write directly on the blocks, attach a small piece of scotch tape to the block and write the numbers on that with a sharpie type marker. That way the numbers can be easily removed and your game goes back to normal!

Next, type up your questions and assign point values or zonk messages for each one.  Note: If you plan to play this review game more than once, I recommend switching up your question order and point values.  The questions can stay the same–only the order changes so students can’t memorize questions, point values or zonk messages.  I would also recommend laminating your boards or place them in a plastic page protector and then use a dry erase marker to keep track of questions and scores each time you play. Once the game is over, they can easily be erased.

Point Values can be 200, 400, 600, 800, 150, 350, 550, 750, 950 (whatever values you want)

Messages:  ZONK & Double ZONK (you decide how many you want)

Extra Optional Messages:  Double BANK

Choose a Game Version

Let me begin by sharing that there are two versions for playing this game depending on the number and type(s) of tower games you have.

Version 1:  Whole Class

This version requires only one large tower block game. Begin be dividing your class into two teams.  You will act as the moderator and read questions and keep score for each round.

Version 2:  Small Teams of 3-5 Students

This version requires several smaller tower block games; one per team.  Begin by having each team select a moderator to read the questions and keep score for their group.


Each team alternates turns by sending a team member to the tower to select a tower block . The moderator will read the points value +/or message and question aloud to the team.

The team member must correctly answer the question to earn the points. The team member may confer with their team for answers.

If the answer given is correct, the team earns the points and can either pick another block to answer and gain points or “bank” their points for that round.  The turn then goes to the opposing team. However, incorrect answers give the opposing team a chance to “steal the points” if they can answer the question correctly.

If a block number with a ZONK message is selected, the team loses their turn and earns 0 points. Double ZONK block messages means their team loses all of their points and must begin again. If a Double BANK message is selected, the team can choose to double their bank (total score) by choosing a player to answer the challenge/question. However, the player may not receive any help from their team. (I tend to make these questions, a bit more challenging.)

Blocks get returned to the top of the tower each time.

Determining Winners

The questions have all been answered… the team with the most points wins.

Class time is running out…the team with the most points wins.

Any team that causes the tower to fall…opposing team automatically wins regardless of points.


Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.