15 Great Brain Breaks for Middle School Students

Middle school students face a significant workload, with numerous tests, quizzes, classes to attend, and studying to complete.

This can become overwhelming for them.

While it might not be possible for you as a teacher to completely reduce their collective workload, you can enhance their focus by offering brain breaks during your class. 

What are Middle School Brain Breaks?

Brain breaks for middle school are like mini-adventures that happen at designated times in between a lesson.

These short breaks allow students to step away and disconnect briefly, allowing them to refocus and re-energize. As a result, they return to their lessons even more engaged and attentive. 

Here you will find some fun brain breaks for middle school students. 

These ideas are meant to create a more positive classroom environment, build classroom community, plus mix fun into the teaching and learning process. 

By introducing these brain break activities, you demonstrate to students that their mental well-being is just as important as their academic progress. 

So incorporate these middle school brain break ideas into your teaching soon. 

Brain Breaks for Middle School

1. Create a Story Cube Tale.

Engage your middle school students with story cubes.

These cubes, each side featuring a different image or scene, are rolled to form unexpected combinations that spark imaginative narratives.

This brain break encourages students to think on their feet, develop characters, and weave plots within minutes. 

See how to make a story cube.

2. Invent a Word. 

Challenge your middle school students to come up with a new word and its definition.

Encourage creativity and humor, and let them share their invented words with the class. 

3. Answer This or That Questions.

Inject a dose of quick decision-making and engagement into your middle school classroom with this fun brain break.

Pose a series of rapid-fire this or that questions where students must choose between two options.

From “beach or mountains” to “pizza or burgers,” this activity prompts students to think on their feet.

What’s more, it brings a burst of energy and encourages students to make choices confidently while respecting differing viewpoints.

4. Take a Fun Trivia Quiz.

Challenge students with an array of intriguing questions from various topics, ranging from history and science to pop culture and geography.

Watch as their faces light up in anticipation as they rack their brains to recall facts and figures.

To make this brain break more exciting, have students work in teams. 

5. Participate in Group Storytelling.

Begin a tale with an interesting opening line, and then have each student contribute a sentence or two to build the narrative collectively.

As the story unfolds, students must listen carefully, think on their feet, and seamlessly integrate their ideas into the evolving plot.

With each student adding their unique touch, the story takes on a life of its own, showcasing the power of collective imagination.

Brain Break Games for Middle School

6. Play Emoji Charades.

Have students take turns acting out an emoji without using any words. Their classmates need to guess the emotion or concept being portrayed.

7. Play Odd One Out.

Present a set of related items, words, or images, and challenge students to identify the one that doesn’t belong and explain their reasoning.

Whether it’s a group of animals, words with a common theme, or geometric shapes, “Odd One Out” encourages students to note similarities and differences, enhancing their cognitive flexibility and problem-solving abilities.

8. Have a Paper Airplane Challenge.

Give each student a piece of paper and challenge them to create the most aerodynamic paper airplane.

Have a flying contest to see whose plane can travel the farthest.

9. Do 30-Second Challenges.

Present your middle school students with a series of fun and fast-paced tasks, from performing a dance move to naming as many types of fruits as they can within the time limit.

As the timer counts down, the classroom comes alive with laughter, cheering, and friendly competition, making this brain break a surefire way to keep students’ minds ready for more learning.

10. Play Pictionary Relay.

Divide the class into teams.

Each team sends one student at a time to draw a word or phrase on the board without using letters or numbers.

Team members must guess the word within a time limit.

11. Ask 20 Questions.

Choose an object or person and have students take turns asking yes-or-no questions to guess what it is.

They have 20 questions to figure it out.

Quick Brain Breaks for Middle School

12. Make One-Minute Paper Structures.

Armed with just a sheet of paper and a minute on the clock, groups of students collaborate to construct the tallest, most stable structure they can muster.

This brain break activity challenges them to brainstorm, plan, and work together under time constraints, resulting in quick decision-making and effective communication. 

13. Do Mirror Movements.

This fun brain break encourages students to partner up and mimic each other’s actions like mirror reflections.

As one student takes the lead, the other follows their movements precisely and in reverse.

Whether it’s hopping, clapping, or twirling, mirror movements offer a delightful way to break away from routine and infuse the classroom with laughter and a bit of camaraderie.

14. Make Alliteration Silly Sentences.

Ask your middle schoolers to create sentences where most of the words start with the same letter.

Whether it’s “Silly Sally swiftly sipped seven sodas” or “Playful pandas painted purple patterns,” this activity not only tickles their linguistic fancy but also sharpens their vocabulary.

15. Respond to Would You Rather Questions.

Ask a series of thought-provoking dilemmas where students must choose between two equally intriguing options.

From “Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?” to “Would you rather explore the deep sea or outer space?” this middle school brain break activity prompts lighthearted debates and helps students get to know one another better.

Final Thoughts On Brain Breaks for Middle School

These fun brain break ideas for middle school give you plenty of activities, games, and tasks that help to keep students’ minds energized. 

Using them, your middle schoolers will have renewed enthusiasm and a more positive learning experience.