fbpx
Classful Classful Shop

There’s nothing quite like the awkwardness of the first few days of school.

Unlike in elementary school, middle school students are far less likely to immediately make friends with every other kid they meet, which can make introductions that much trickier. If you’re struggling to find ways to kick off school without those awkward silences, then icebreakers might be just what you need.

We’ve put together a list of 25 middle school icebreakers to get you started, but feel free to add your ideas and thoughts if you find something that works well. Read on for 25 icebreakers that are sure to have your students on friendly terms in next to no time:

Education resources

View all
Winter Holiday / Christmas Recipe Book / Cookbook Template

Winter Holiday / Christmas Recipe Book / Cookbook Template

$3.00
How To Catch an Elf Writing Template and Craft

How To Catch an Elf Writing Template and Craft

$3.00
Basketball Sticker Charts

Basketball Sticker Charts

$3.00
Social Cues and Body Language using Pictures Activity Worksheets and Task Cards

Social Cues and Body Language using Pictures Activity Worksheets and Task Cards

$10.00
Plant in a bag

Plant in a bag

Free
Introduction to 2-VS-2 Debate PPT

Introduction to 2-VS-2 Debate PPT

$3.00
Circumference of Circles Practice 1

Circumference of Circles Practice 1

$1.00
¿Cuál sistema del cuerpo?

¿Cuál sistema del cuerpo?

$1.50
Multiplication and Repeated Addition Math Matching Game

Multiplication and Repeated Addition Math Matching Game

$3.00

Movement-based icebreakers

Students sitting at desks and not moving about are generally far less motivated to connect with others. Get your class moving, and they won’t have time to tune out or be bored – they’ll have far too much to do.

  1. Organization Race – see how quickly your class can get themselves organized into groups based on various factors. This could be boys vs. girls, alphabetical splits, or anything else. Keep mixing it up, and your students will soon find themselves having fun with kids who were previously strangers.
  2. Getting to know you – In this game, students must move from the ‘true’ area to the ‘false’ area based on getting to know your statements. For example, ‘I’ve never been to Europe’ or ‘I’m vegetarian.’ This is a quick way for your class to get to know each other based on common traits and for you to learn a bit too.
  3. Group up – Name a color, and students must quickly race into groups depending on whether they are wearing that color on their feet, top or bottom – or not. Quick, easy, and fun. You can also nominate different students to supply colors to incorporate them into the game even more.
  4. Question ball – Students will be asked to catch a beach ball with multiple questions, such as what is your favorite color? or where is your favorite place to go on holiday? Whichever question is facing them when they catch the ball with both hands is the one they have to answer before throwing it on to the next student.
  5. Tower tumble – this Jenga game has a question on every block, each of which must be answered when they are pulled out. This game will surely add some hilarity to the day as each student tries to stop the tower from falling while answering get-to-know-you questions.
  6. Step to the truth – As with getting to know you, the teacher will ask for true or false statements in this game. For each truth statement, the student will step toward the middle of the circle. It might get a little cramped, but the first to reach the middle of the circle is the winner – and they get to read out the statements for the next round.
  7. Butt Shuffle – This game has students make a circle of chairs, with one remaining empty. All students should be seated except for one, and the fun begins. Students must shuffle their butts in a circle, reversing when ‘switch’ is called out. The student in the middle has to try and get in that empty seat as quickly as possible, which is more of a challenge than you might think with some furious shuffling going on!
  8. Tangled up – Students create a circle from shoulder to shoulder and then must grab the hands of two other students anywhere within the circle. Now everyone has to figure out how to untangle without letting go of their hands. Fun and a bit of a challenge to get the class working together.

Communication-based icebreakers

Another popular solution to icebreakers is doing something middle schoolers love – talking and arguing in equal measure. These activities provide all that and more to learn more about each other.

  1. I’m famous – In this classic party game, a post-it with the name of a famous person will be put on a student’s forehead. They must guess who they are using yes or no questions only. The first one to guess correctly is the winner.
  2. Battle scars – Students will be invited to talk about a scar they have on their body and explain how it got there; for example, falling over in the playground, having surgery, or anything else in-between. Students without scars can tell a funny story about accidentally hurting themselves.
  3. Good with the bad – In this game, one student should say something bad about their day, and the other must immediately follow it with something twice as good. Keep the game going, and you’ll soon reach ludicrous heights of positivity, sure to have you in stitches.
  4. Would you rather? – Everyone knows you would rather, but with middle schoolers, the more original and exciting the questions, the better. Choose something your students will love to debate about, whether it’s sports heroes, television, or superpowers, and your entire class will soon chat like old friends.
  5. TP tricks – Pass around a roll of TP, and direct each student to wrap up a part of their body like a bandage. The hitch is that the number of individual pieces of toilet paper represents how many facts students must say about themselves.
  6. Headlines – Invite students to sum themselves up in one sentence, like the headline of a popular magazine or newspaper. You’re sure to get some imaginative and funny responses to this question, especially if you direct them to speak like reporters with a fake microphone when they’re reporting on themselves.
  7. Color games – Give each student a handful of colorful counters or candy and reveal to them that each represents a different type of fact. Blue, for example, means you have to say their favorite color. Or red is their favorite song. The choice is up to you.
  8. The worst ever – In this fun game, students choose a profession – such as a doctor, dentist, or lawyer – and describe what makes them the worst at the jobs. A librarian that can’t read, for example, or a film star who always looks ugly on camera. The most imaginative answer wins.
  9. Pass the secret – One student will share a fact about themselves with the child next to them. This fact will be whispered around the class until the final student, who must say what they think they heard. You’re bound to end up with some excellent responses, with some students listening better than others.

Brain games

For those who prefer something that involves a little more thought, brain games might be the thing. These games don’t require a specific skill, but students must put their heads together and figure out a solution.

  1. Murder – One student is directed to stand in the middle of the circle as the detective, and another is assigned the murderer role. When the murdered sticks their tongue out at another student, they must die dramatically. The detective must figure it out before time is up.
  2. Shopping cart – The game starts with one student naming a single thing they would buy from the grocery store. The next student must add one on, remembering the first. This game continues throughout the class until someone forgets and then starts again with the next player. The funnier the items, the better.
  3. Rock idol – Students must group up, choose a word from a bowl, and sing as many songs related to that word as possible. The group with the most songs to their name wins.
  4. Color counter – Students will be grouped into teams and asked to pick a color and a category. From there, they must name as many things in that category that are the specific color. Yellow animals, for example, or blue TV characters. When one person hesitates, the game must start again.
  5. Fast facts – Each student will tell the class one fact about themselves. Then the teacher will point to each student to stand up, and the class must respond with the fact they’ve been told. The one with the most right answers wins.
  6. Reach one hundred – This numbers-based game has students shouting out random numbers. The final total can’t exceed 100, and the goal is to reach the magic number with every single student participating with their number. The closer to 100 they get, the better.
  7. Guess the fact – Students will be asked to stand up and say one word related to a fact about their life. For example, if a student said ‘Egypt,’ they could mean they’ve been on holiday there, lived there, or even have family there. The rest of the class must guess the full fact based on the one-word clue.
  8. The odd one out – Students will pair up and be given 30 seconds to memorize their partner’s appearance. Then, the other student will turn away and change something – whether it’s taking down their hair, undoing a button, or removing their glasses. The first student must identify what’s missing as quickly as possible.

With these icebreaker ideas, your middle school class will soon have the time of their lives. What’s your favorite icebreaker activity for new students?