Fun Icebreaker Activities for the Middle School Classroom!

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Fun Icebreakers for Middle School

When it comes to middle schoolers, a great way to kickoff the school year is with some fun and engaging icebreaker activities!


In this article, we've compiled a list of 10 well-designed and fun icebreaker games for middle school students, along with thorough instructions on how to play them and what makes them a good choice for this age group.


Using well-designed, fun, and engaging icebreaker games for middle school students


Before diving into the games themselves, it's important to understand how to use and design well-thought-out icebreaker games for middle schoolers. Firstly, it's essential to consider the group size and ensure that the game is appropriate for the number of students you have. Secondly, the game should be inclusive and allow everyone to participate. Lastly, the game should be age-appropriate and cater to the interests and attention span of middle school students.


Top 10 Icebreaker Games for Middle School Students


#1: Two Truths and a Lie

In this game, each student takes turns stating three statements about themselves, two of which are true, and one of which is a lie. The other students must guess which statement is the lie. This game encourages critical thinking and helps students get to know each other better.


Two Truths and a Lie is a great icebreaker activity for middle school students because it helps build confidence, and for your students to get to know each other better. Through the sharing of some of their personal interests and information about themselves, students are better able to find common interests amongst their peers and learn more about their classmates!


This fun game provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice their communication skills and public speaking abilities as they present their statements to the group. It also allows for some creativity and humor, as students can come up with unique and unexpected statements to keep the game interesting!


Finally, Two Truths and a Lie doesn't require any specialized knowledge or physical skill, and it can be easily adapted to different group sizes and settings regardless of whether you have a small or a larger group of students. All of these factors make Two Truths and a Lie a fun and engaging icebreaker game for middle school students!



#2: Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great icebreaker activity for middle school students because they promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Play this game by splitting students into small groups, and provide them with a list of items to find around the classroom. The first team to properly locate all of the items on the list wins!


A scavenger hunt can last for an entire class, or a few short minutes (it really depends on how creative you get and how exhaustive the list of items you give your students to find is). It's a great game for helping your students familiarize themselves with your classroom environment and fosters a sense of belonging as they kick off the new school year.


Scavenger hunts encourage collaboration and team building amongst students while also helping them build social skills. Additionally, scavenger hunts can easily be tailored to different themes, such as nature or history, making them an engaging and fun way to learn new information.


A truly interactive game, scavenger hunts are the perfect activity to get your students moving and break up the monotony of sitting in a classroom. By encouraging students to be active and explore their surroundings, scavenger hunts promote physical activity and can help students feel energized and refreshed.


Finally, scavenger hunts provide a low-pressure way for students to interact with one another and build interpersonal relationships. By working together towards a common goal, students can learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses, which can be beneficial when it comes to group projects or assignments later in the school year. Overall, scavenger hunts are an excellent icebreaker game for middle school students that promote teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and social skills!


Related Article: Fun Ideas and Tips for Meet and Greet the Teacher!


#3: Great Wind Blows

In one of my favorite ice breaker games, students sit in a circle, and one student stands in the middle. The student in the middle says, "The great wind blows for everyone who..." and then finishes the sentence with something they have in common with some of the other students. For example, "The great wind blows for everyone who has a dog." The students who have a dog must then quickly stand up and switch places, while the student in the middle tries to take one of the open spots. This is a fun game for the whole class (especially on the first day of school!) and is a fantastic way to get students moving and find common ground with their peers.


Great Wind Blows is an excellent icebreaker activity for middle school students because it encourages movement, promotes communication, and helps students find common ground with their peers. What I really love about this game is that it breaks down barriers between students and fosters a sense of camaraderie. Not to mention that its inclusive, easily allowing all students to participate and can be adapted to suit different themes or situations.


#4: Name Game

This is another fun icebreaker activity in which students are placed into a large circle, only this time, they'll stand (instead of sitting like in Great Wind Blows). The first student says their first name along with something that starts with the same letter as their name. For example, I'll usually have them say their name followed by one of the following:

  • Their favorite movie
  • Their favorite song
  • Their favorite animal
  • Their favorite place they went to on summer vacation

Then, the next student must say the previous student's name and the favorite thing they mentioned, followed by their own name and favorite thing, and so on to the next person until the last student in the circle says their name and favorite thing. The Name Game is a GREAT opportunity and a fun way for students (and you, the teacher, lol!) to put faces to the names of your students.


By having your students share something about themselves in addition to just their name, such as their favorite musician that starts with the same letter as their name, it provides an opportunity for students to express their individuality and get to know each other in a non-threatening way. It also encourages active listening skills as students must remember the name and the favorite item of the person before them in the circle. The Name Game is a particularly useful icebreaker activity for the beginning of the school year when students are still getting to know each other and building connections!


#5: Beach Ball Questions

To play this game, prior to beginning the activity, write various icebreaker questions on a beach ball and then have your students toss it around the class. The student who catches the ball must answer the question that their right thumb lands on. This game is a great icebreaker activity for younger middle school students and can be adapted to include more open-ended questions for older students.


Here's a few examples of some of my favorite fun icebreakers to write on the beach ball:

  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  • What's your favorite movie or TV show?
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
  • What's one thing you're looking forward to this school year?
  • What is your favorite food to have for breakfast?
  • What is your favorite food to have for dinner?
  • What's your favorite subject in school and why?
  • If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and why?
  • What's your favorite sports team or athlete?


To ensure that everyone in the class plays, I recommend implementing a rule that when a student catches the ball X number of times and answers an icebreaker, say 2 or 3 times, they're no longer eligible to answer an icebreaker so if they happen to catch the beach ball, they must immediately toss about it!


Beach Ball Questions is a good icebreaker activity because it allows students to participate actively while also learning about their peers. This game is particularly effective for middle school students who might be shy or hesitant to speak up in group settings.


The game's open-ended nature allows for a wide range of questions that can be tailored to the group's interests, such as favorite books, TV shows, hobbies, etc. This flexibility makes it a great icebreaker activity for students who are still getting to know each other. The physical act of tossing the ball helps break the ice and encourages students to engage with one another. It provides for a great time and can really help relieve some of the initial tension that comes with meeting new classmates.


#6: Musical Chairs

A classic game that can be adapted to suit the needs of middle school students, Musical Chairs is a great activity that most students will likely be familiar with and already know how to play! But, just in case, you play the game by setting up chairs in a circle, but with one fewer than the number of students playing. Play music and have the students walk around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone must sit in a chair, but the student who doesn't have a chair is out. This game encourages friendly competition and is a simple game to get your students moving and break up the monotony of the school day!


Musical chairs requires students to listen and react quickly to the music, which helps them develop their motor skills and reaction time. By participating in musical chairs, students can also learn to handle winning and losing gracefully. Losing can be disappointing, but it's an opportunity to teach resilience and good sportsmanship.


#7: Deserted Island

In this game, your students imagine that they're stranded on a deserted tropical island. Two key geographic features of the island are the nearby coral reefs with abundant fish life and a small, lush forest of tall coconut trees. For some of your more "clever" students, also explain that the deserted island is "deserted" and has no cell service, wi-fi, electricity, etc.


I like to play this game in one of two ways:

  1. Allow your students to choose any three items to bring them, but for each item they come up with, they must explain why they chose that item and how it will help them survive
  2. Provide your students with a list of say 10+ items to choose from and have them select three items from the list they'll bring with them and for each one, have them include an explanation of why they brought that item.


In addition to the two ways I've outlined above to play the game, you can have your students play this game individually or in smaller groups. Either way, though, this game can be a great ice breaker and promote critical thinking while also encouraging students to think creatively and "outside the box"!


#8: Human Knot

Human Knot is played by having your students stand in a circle and hold hands with two different people who are NOT standing directly next to them. Then, without letting go of their hands, they must untangle themselves to form a circle again. This game can be a hoot and a great icebreaker game as it promotes teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.


In particular, I like it for middle schoolers because they're at a stage of life where they're learning to work and communicate with others effectively, and this game can be a fun and engaging way to help them practice these skills.


#9: Pictionary

Another classic game on this list, I like Pictionary because it can be easily adapted to suit the needs of middle school students. Specifically, because one of the best things about a game like Pictionary is that it can incorporate any number of themes. For example, you can have your students play Pictionary as a first day of school icebreaker activity, or throughout the school year by adapting relevant topics to the game. Let's say, for example, you're teaching your students about the Civil War or human anatomy; you can have them draw items that are relevant to that topic!


To play Pictionary, simply divide students into two teams and have one person from each team take turns drawing a picture while their teammates try to guess what it is. This game promotes creativity, communication, and teamwork.


#10: Who Am I?

And last, but certainly not least, is my personal FAVORITE, Who Am I? I love this game for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it's a FUN game for middle school students while encouraging them to think critically, problem-solve, and help develop their socialization skills.


To play Who Am I? give each of your students a post-it note with the name of a famous person or character on it. Who Am I? can be played with famous people or characters from a variety of sources, such as books, movies, history, or pop culture. This means that students with different interests and backgrounds can participate and contribute their knowledge. It also provides an opportunity for students to learn about people or characters they may not have been familiar with before.


Students then stick the post-it note to their forehead without looking at it and ask other students yes-or-no questions to guess who they are. By asking yes-or-no questions to identify the famous person or character on their forehead, students must use deductive reasoning to eliminate possibilities and narrow down their guesses. They also have to pay attention to the answers given by others in order to make informed guesses.


Finally, this game can be played in small or large groups of students, making it a versatile icebreaker option for middle school classrooms. It's a fun and engaging game that can help students get to know each other better while also exercising their critical thinking and social skills.


I hope that you've enjoyed this article and if you're in search of other tips for teaching history, please check some of my other articles!



I hope this article has helped spark some ideas for you to give a try in your classroom!













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