Middle school is undoubtedly a pivotal time for students, as they find themselves in the in-between stage of school life.
As a teacher, it’s important to offer support and nurture a growth mindset among middle schoolers, not just in their academics but in their overall development.
A powerful way to do this starting at the beginning of the school year is by incorporating icebreaker games for middle school students.
These fun activities establish a positive and welcoming tone from day one.
What’s more, middle school icebreaker games facilitate students getting to know each other in a relaxed and engaging manner, reducing first-day or first-week anxieties.
By utilizing the following icebreaker games, you’ll help to create a classroom environment where middle schoolers are eager to learn, excited to be present, and have high hopes for a fantastic school year ahead.
Icebreaker Games for Middle School Students
1. Play “Remix Your Name”.
Have students sit or stand in a circle.
One by one, each will create a fun sentence in which each word starts with the same letter sound as his/her first name.
For example, “Kelly kindly keeps kittens.” or “Missy makes magical music.”
2. Share In a Dream Circle.
This is one of the simpler icebreaker games for middle school students.
Have them sit in a circle and discuss their likes and dreams.
Examples of questions to ask…
- If you had a million dollars, what is the first thing you would buy and why?
- Which famous person would you like to meet?
- If you were the president of the country, what law would you enact?
- What is the one thing you are most looking forward to doing when you are an adult?
- Which country would you like to visit?
- What keeps you happy?
- If you could have dinner with a celebrity, who would it be?
- What’s your dream vacation destination?
Related Content: Icebreaker Questions for Middle School Students
3. Make a Human Knot.
Students form a circle and reach across to grab the hands of two different people.
The objective is for students to collaborate and untangle the “human knot” while maintaining their grip on each other’s hands throughout the process.
4. Find Common Ground.
Divide the class into small groups.
Give each group a list of at least ten experiences or traits such as “Is left-handed,” “Speaks another language,” “Knows how to hula-hoop”, etc.
Students discuss within their groups and find common ground among themselves.
5. Play Pin the “Dart” On the Target.
Divide the class into two teams.
Within each team, one student is chosen to be blindfolded. Her task is to pin a dart onto a target set up by the teacher.
Each team has its own target.
The competition revolves around the blindfolded student’s attempt to accurately place the dart on the target.
The closest or most accurate attempt earns a point for the team. The game continues until every student has had a chance to pin.
The team with the most points emerges as the winner of the game.
6. Assemble Puzzle Pieces.
Create a large puzzle with a picture or a message related to your class or school.
Divide the students into small groups and give each group a random piece of the puzzle.
They then find the other groups with matching pieces to assemble the puzzle together.
7. Play Picture Telephone.
Give students a sticky note, and ask them to draw a simple picture on it. They then pass their sticky notes to the person on their left.
The receiving student look at the drawing and then folds the paper to hide it. He or she then takes a new sticky note and draws a picture based on what he or she remembers.
The child will then pass the drawing to the next person.
The process repeats until the original sticky note arrives back to the original owner.
Students will have a chance to see the hilarious evolution of the initial idea.
8. Interpret the Emojis.
For fun middle school icebreaker games that promote critical thinking, try this one.
Show a series of emojis representing different words or phrases on a screen or whiteboard.
Students take turns guessing what each emoji or combination of emojis represent.
9. Beat the Clock.
First, pair students. Each student in the pair has 30 seconds to share his top 10 favorite things regarding an assigned topic (e.g. top 10 favorite foods, movies, books, etc.)
When the signal sounds after 30 seconds, the other partner shares her top 10 favorites within the same category or topic.
Afterward, students rotate and find a new partner to repeat the process.
10. Play Emoji Charades.
Prepare a list of phrases or age-appropriate movie/book titles translated into emojis.
Students take turns acting out the emojis without speaking while the rest of the class tries to guess the phrase or title.
11. Create a Marshmallow Tower.
This icebreaker game involves dividing students into four or five groups. Each group is provided with a bowl of marshmallows.
Teams compete to build the tallest marshmallow structure within a certain amount of time
Final Thoughts On Middle School Icebreaker Games
Creating a safe and inclusive space where all students feel comfortable and valued is essential for a successful school year.
These fun icebreaker games for middle school students do just that.
They get students to feel excited about learning, building friendships, and engaging in the classroom.