As the new school year starts, it’s the perfect time for some good old icebreakers. Getting to know new students can be challenging, but we’ve got you covered with some fun ice breaker games for middle school. Trust us; these will make your middle schoolers look forward to every lesson!
1. Name Game – No More “I Forgot Your Name.”
One of the best things about the first days of school is learning each other’s names, right? Wrong. It’s tricky, but the Name Game is here to save the day.
Instructions: Each student introduces themselves with their first name and a descriptor starting with the same letter (e.g., “Kind Katie” or “Awesome Alex”). The next student repeats the previous names and their own. The last student will have the toughest job, recalling everyone’s name. This is not just a fun game but also a fantastic memory challenge.
2. The Venn Diagram Friends
This is a great activity to find common ground among your students.
Materials: A piece of paper and pen for each small group.
Instructions: Divide the students into smaller groups. Each group gets a piece of paper, where they draw a Venn Diagram. They need to find similarities and differences among group members and fill in the Venn Diagram accordingly. It’s a fun and interactive game that encourages kids to share personal information in a safe, friendly environment.
3. Famous People
This is a fantastic game that tests students’ knowledge of pop culture.
Materials: Index cards and a pen.
Instructions: Write the name of a famous person on each card. Tape a card to each student’s back and have them ask yes or no questions to figure out who they are.
4. Common Ground
A wonderful activity that helps students find similarities with their classmates.
Instructions: Each student shares their favorite place, animal, color, etc., and others who share the same favorites stand up. It’s a fun way to discover what they have in common!
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5. Summer Vacation Bingo
This game is a great icebreaker for the first day of school.
Materials: Bingo cards, pens.
Instructions: Create a Bingo card for each student with squares filled with descriptions like “visited the beach over summer vacation” or “read more than three books”. Students mingle, asking each other questions to find matches for their Bingo squares.
6. Mystery Bag
A fun way to spark creativity and storytelling.
Materials: A bag filled with random objects.
Instructions: Pass around the mystery bag. Each student pulls out an object and has to tell a short story related to it.
7. What’s My Line?
This game is a great way to explore future aspirations.
Instructions: Each student thinks of a job they’d like in the future. The rest of the class asks yes or no questions to guess the job.
10-minute Activities for Middle School Students
Ice breaker sessions do not have to be long or complicated to be effective. In fact, some of the best ice breaker games for middle school students are quick, easy to understand, and require minimal setup.
These activities range from a simple ‘get-to-know-you’ question round to a short team-building challenge.
The key is to keep the energy high and the environment friendly. These simple, fun games can help foster a sense of community and understanding amongst students, making your classroom a more comfortable place for everyone.
8. Deserted Island Choices
What would you take to a deserted island?
Instructions: The whole class sits in a large circle. Each student has to name one thing they would take to a deserted island and why. This is a great way to learn more about each student’s favorite things and their reasons behind them.
9. Roll of Toilet Paper Fun
A roll of toilet paper has never been this much fun before!
Materials: One roll of toilet paper.
Instructions: Pass the roll around and ask each student to take as many squares as they want. Once everyone has their squares, reveal the catch: for each square they took, they have to share a fun fact about themselves. You’ll hear a different number of fun facts from each student. Prepare for some chuckles!
10. M&M Icebreaker
A game that combines sweet treats with getting-to-know-you questions.
Materials: M&M candies.
Instructions: Each student takes some M&Ms. For each candy, they have to answer a question corresponding to its color (e.g., Red: Favorite food, Green: Dream vacation spot).
11. Snowball Fight
An exciting way to share fun facts without the chill of winter.
Materials: Pieces of paper, pens.
Instructions: Each student writes a fun fact about themselves on a piece of paper, then crumples it into a “snowball”. Start a “snowball fight”, after which each student picks up a snowball and guesses who the fact is about.
12. Human Bingo
Just like Bingo but with a human touch!
Materials: Bingo cards, pens.
Instructions: Bingo cards have statements such as “has a pet dog” or “loves pizza”. Students have to find classmates who match the statements and fill their card.
13. Friendship Salad
A game that teaches teamwork and cooperation.
Materials: A large bowl, plastic fruits/vegetables.
Instructions: Each student adds a fruit or vegetable to the bowl while sharing something they appreciate about their classmates. The result? A delicious “friendship salad”!
14. Paper Plane Questions
A unique twist on asking questions.
Materials: Paper, pens.
Instructions: Each student writes an open-ended question on a piece of paper and folds it into a plane. Then everyone launches their planes. Students pick up a plane and answer the question on it.
15. Silent Line-Up
Instructions: Challenge students to line up in order of their birthdays without talking. This game requires non-verbal communication and cooperation.
16. Favorite Things
Materials: Paper and pens.
Instructions: Each student writes down their favorite things (like color, animal, food, etc.). Mix all the papers and redistribute them. Each student then reads what’s on their paper and guesses who wrote it.
17. The Wind Blows
Instructions: Set up chairs in a circle, one less than the number of students. One person stands in the middle and says, “The wind blows for anyone who ___.” Anyone for whom the statement is true must get up and find a new seat. The person left standing is the next to be in the middle.
18. Story Chain
Instructions: Start a story with a sentence. The next student continues the story, and so on. This allows students to practice their creativity and narrative skills.
19. Picture Pieces Game
Materials: Picture or comic, cut into pieces.
Instructions: Give each student a piece of the picture. As a group, they must figure out what the picture is by describing their pieces. This encourages teamwork and communication.
30-minute Activities for High School Students
20. Human Knot
This is a great activity that involves some light physical activity and a lot of team building.
Materials: Just your students!
Instructions: Everyone stands in a large circle and reaches out to hold hands with two different students across from them. Then, they try to untangle themselves without letting go of each other’s hands. You’ll see some wonderful collaboration and problem-solving skills at play!
21. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger Hunts are a classic game and a great opportunity to encourage friendly competition among older kids.
Materials: A list of items or clues.
Instructions: Divide your high school students into teams. Provide each team with a list of items or clues. The first team to find all items or solve all clues wins. Make sure the items or clues relate to your lesson plans or their summer vacation stories to keep it educational.Then, each student introduces their partner to the rest of the class based on the interview. This is a great way for students to get to know each other.
Materials: Pens, paper, and a list of words or phrases.
Instructions: Classic game of Pictionary. Divide students into two teams. Each team takes turns drawing a word or phrase on a piece of paper while their team tries to guess what it is within a time limit.
23. Chair Basketball
Materials: A soft ball and a trash can.
Instructions: Set the trash can in the middle of the room. Have students take turns trying to throw the ball into the can from their seat. This is a great activity for friendly competition and team building.
24. Four Corners
Materials: Paper with numbers 1-4.
Instructions: Label each corner of the room with numbers 1-4. Read a statement and have students move to the corner that best aligns with their opinion. This is a fun, physical way to get to know students’ preferences and opinions.
25. The One Word Icebreaker
Instructions: The group tries to tell a story by each contributing just one word at a time. This requires focus and collaboration.
26. Interview Icebreaker
Instructions: Pair students and have them interview each other for 5 minutes.
Middle School Ice Breakers
Creating an engaging atmosphere in the classroom can be as simple as incorporating fun ice breaker games for middle school students.
These activities are enjoyable; they help students feel more at ease with their peers. To make the ice breaker session fun, choose games matching your students’ interests and comfort levels.
Use a mix of team games, individual challenges, and creative tasks to cater to different personalities.
Remember, the goal is to help the students learn more about each other in a relaxed and fun way. So, go ahead and make these ice breaker games an essential part of your classroom routine!
27. The Beach Ball Game
Materials: One beach ball with open-ended questions written on it.
Instructions: Students toss the beach ball to each other. When a student catches the ball, they answer the question that their right thumb is touching. It’s a fun way for the entire class to share experiences or favorite English words.
Here’s another great wind-blowing activity for the entire class, which can also work well for larger groups.
Instructions: Students stand in two circles, one inside the other. Each student in the inner circle faces a student in the outer circle. They have a short time to answer icebreaker questions like “What’s your favorite color?” or “What’s your favorite animal?”. After each round, the outer circle shifts so that everyone gets a new partner. It’s a fun icebreaker that helps new students make new friends in no time.
29. Classroom Bingo
Materials: Bingo sheets, pens.
Instructions: Instead of numbers, each square contains a description like “has a pet dog” or “can play a musical instrument.” Students walk around the room to find classmates who match the descriptions on the Bingo sheet.
30. The Balloon Pop
Materials: Balloons and small pieces of paper.
Instructions: Write a question on a piece of paper and put it inside a balloon before inflating it. Each student chooses a balloon, pops it, and answers the question found inside.
31. Two Sides of the Coin
Materials: A coin.
Instructions: Toss a coin and ask students to guess if it will land on heads or tails. Students who guess correctly remain standing while the others sit. The last student standing wins!
32. Paper Plane Challenge
Instructions: Each student writes a fun fact about themselves on a paper and folds it into a plane. Everyone throws their planes and then picks up one. They read the fun fact and guess who it belongs to.
33. Dream Trip
Instructions: Each student describes their dream trip, including the destination, activities, and who they’d take along. This offers insights into students’ interests and aspirations.
Fun Friday Activities for High School Students
34. Name That Tune
This is an excellent game for those music-loving high school students.
Materials: Music player.
Instructions: Play just a few seconds of a popular song and the first person to guess it right gets a point. You can play as many rounds as you want. This fun game will have everyone humming along and is a great way to end the week.
35. Google Slides Story
A fun and tech-savvy activity!
Materials: Computers or tablets with access to Google Slides.
Instructions: Start a story with a sentence or an image on Google Slides. Each student adds a slide to continue the story. The end result? A crazy, imaginative story created by the whole class.
36. Debate Club
Materials: List of topics.
Instructions: Divide students into two teams and give them a topic to debate. This helps students practice their argument skills in a fun, low-pressure environment.
37. Create Your Own Quiz
Materials: Paper and pens.
Instructions: Each student writes a quiz question about the week’s lessons. Combine all the questions for a fun end-of-week quiz.
38. Virtual Escape Room
Materials: Internet access and computers/tablets.
Instructions: Choose a virtual escape room for students to complete in pairs or groups. This activity fosters teamwork and problem-solving.
Classroom Ice Breaker Activities
Here are some more fun ice breaker games for middle shool and high school students:
39. Two Truths and A Lie
This is a classic ice breaker game that encourages students to share some things about themselves.
Instructions: Each student tells the rest of the group three statements about themselves – two truths and a lie. The rest of the class votes on which they think is the lie. This simple game can lead to some very surprising revelations!
40. Would You Rather
“Would you rather” questions are a great way to spark a lively discussion in the classroom.
Materials: List of “Would You Rather” questions.
Instructions: Ask the class “would you rather” questions like, “Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?” It’s a great way for the class to get to know each other’s preferences.
Phew! That was a huge list. But remember, whether it’s a scavenger hunt, a name game, or answering fun icebreaker questions, these games aren’t just about having fun. They’re also about helping students feel more comfortable, encouraging them to make new friends, and creating a positive classroom environment. So why not give them a go? Your students will thank you for it. Happy teaching!
41. Board Game Day
Materials: Various board games.
Instructions: Let students unwind with a board game day. This provides a chance for students to interact in a relaxed setting while still engaging their strategic thinking skills.
We hope you enjoyed the fun ice breaker games for middle school students in this post. Which is the favorite game in your class? Share with us in the comment section below