Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ZONK! {A Fun Review Game}

I have the *ultimate* review game for you! If you just joined my Periscope Party Hop session, then you've seen this game previewed *briefly*. I wanted to share this idea with you because I know you will love it. Most importantly, your kids will too!

This is a great game to practice:
  • following directions
  • responsibility as an individual
  • responsibility as a teammate
  • working together as a team
  • listening skills
  • basic math skills (addition)

When to Use this Game

I use it as a review game before a test or quiz. However, I introduce Zonk! the first week of school. I use it to review procedures, rules, and expectations. 

Also, sometimes at the end of the school day, my kids just wanted to play Zonk! with their vocabulary words or math facts. Hey, learning and fun mixed together!? Psstt. You got this.

How to Play
1) Split students up into 2 groups. (I typically did boys and girls, but you could do by table groups or transportation groups, or whatever works best for you. The number of groups doesn't matter.)

2) To determine which team goes first, choose someone from each group to draw two Zonk! cards. The player with the highest score has their team go first.

3) Simply ask the first team the first question. 
Example: "Jimmy's team. How do we walk down the hall correctly?"
{Sometimes I allow the teams to confer with one another before they can answer. Other times, it's each player for themselves when answering questions, but earning points for a team.}
Johnny: "We walk with our feet and faces forward, hands to our side."
Teacher: "Yes, that is correct. Come draw cards."
If Johnny would have gotten this question incorrect,  I would have moved to the first player of the next team, by asking the same question.

4) The student then comes up to the front and draws a card.

5) The cards are marked by 3 things:
- A point value (I had my points in increments of 5 points from 5-40, with 40 being the largest point value they could draw on one card.)
- The word ZONK!
- A fun color question (This just added to the suspense of drawing another card. My color questions were: "Choose a card that's the color of your family vehicle." | "Choose a card that's the color of your shirt you have on." - If I had on gray or black, I never had a gray or black card. So, I told them just to choose their favorite color in this instance. | "Choose your favorite color." | "Choose your best friend's favorite color.")

6) If a student draws a point value, they have the option to keep that card value, or keep going to add to their team's total.

7) If a student draws a ZONK! card, they lose all their points for just that round.
For Example:
If the girl's team draws out a total of 50 points in round 1, then when they draw cards out for round 2, they begin with the team's total of 50 points. During round 2, if they draw out a total of 100 points, then at the end of round 2, the girl's team has a total of 150 points. If during round 2, a girl draws out 100 points, and chooses to keep going and draws a ZONK! card next, then they lose their 100 points from round 2, but still keep their original 50 points.

8) If the team collects points during a round, it's the team's responsibility to record their own points on the board. {My rule: If the person that just got points during that round forgets to write their points on the board and sits down, their points go to another team. This just teaches them to follow directions, listen closely, and be responsible for their role as a team mate.}

How to make ZONK! Cards:

My original set of ZONK! cards are in storage, but I had these foam squares at home to show you how it works. (Ummm...because all teachers keep foam shapes in their houses. Duh.)

I got mine at the Dollar Tree years ago and they have lasted since I first made them in January 2008. I recommend the foam shapes because even laminated card stock wouldn't have held up this well.

I just wrote the point values, ZONK!, and color questions with a black Sharpie onto the foam shapes. 

This game is a for sure winner! I still have kids from my very first year teaching that asks if I still play ZONK! with my students. It's like, "ummm...is that all you remembered about me that year!?" haha 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments. I hope your kids love this game as much as all mine have in the past. 


  1. Love this game idea! Going to try it on my kiddos. We're constantly reviewing US capitals, scripture, foreign language sight words and such--this would be great to make it more exciting!

  2. My students LOVE Zonk as well!! We actually played it today in my summer school class and the kids were getting super competitive! I created some powerpoint versions of ZONK for easy prep, and it works great. Great post with directions on how to play. Thanks for sharing.

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