3 Ice Breakers for Middle School (and High School)
These 3 games were made up with middle school in mind, but would work for most high school situations as well. Or, heaven forbid, you’re in charge of coming up with an ice breaker for your own teacher inservice — these would work for that as well. Enjoy!
Middle School Ice Breaker #1: WOULD YOU RATHER (10-20 minutes)
Divide students into groups of 3-4 or have them choose their own groups of students they don’t know very well. Try to keep the groups to 4 or less to allow for more interaction. Give each student a bag full of “Would you rather” questions. You can google them and find your own, make them from here, or purchase a ready to print set here.
Give these instructions: “You will each get a bag of questions. Take turns pulling out ONLY one question at a time. Each person in your group should answer the question and give a little bit of an explanation as to why they chose that answer. Discuss each question for about 1 minute. Don’t race through them! Talk to each other, get to know each other. It’s fine if you don’t get to all the questions as long as you are talking and asking each other questions. That’s what we want!”
Have students start the game. Give students a 1 minute warning when you are about to stop.
Walk around as students are playing and be sure everyone is being included, asking questions and getting to talk. If needed, pause the game and point out some of the good things you are seeing in order to get all groups back on track with engaging and not just going through the questions quickly. You can also stop in with a group and model how to engage by asking questions as someone gives their reason.
Middle School Ice Breaker #1: IF YOU COULD (10-15 minutes):
You will need a list of icebreaker questions such as “If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?” and “If you could have any superpower what would it be?”. Try to choose ones that start with “If you could” because they are open ended and invite discussion. You can google it or purchase a ready to print set here.
Divide students into 2 equal groups. If you have an odd number of students, teacher plays as well. If you have an even number, teacher does not play. Have the students get in a double circle like this:
One group on the inside, one on the outside.
Be sure they aren’t crowded – spread out.
Each person should have a partner across from them.
Inner circle partners with outer circle.
Teacher reads one question to the group. 1st student answers it for their partner and then tell a little bit about why. The partner must ask them a question back related to the answer or asking for more information. Then the 2nd student answers and the partner asks a question.
When students seem to have finished, the OUTER circle moves one step/person to the RIGHT. They should all then have a new partner. Repeat the process of asking/answering questions. Then tell them the INNER circle moves one step/person to the RIGHT. They should all have a new partner.
Continue play. If you get back to where they are with the same partner, that means they’ve talked with ½ the class. You can either continue play and let them answer one more question with the same person (this is fine). If you really want them to talk to different kids, you can split group 1 to one side of the room, group 2 to another at this point. Then just tell them to partner up with someone they haven’t talked to.
Middle School Ice Breaker #1: 3 THINGS ABOUT ME/GUESS WHO (20 minutes):
Divide students into groups of 5-6 or have them choose their own groups of students they don’t know very well. If your class is very small (less than 10 students) you could try this with the whole class.
Put them in groups and then give these instructions:
“You will each get 3 cards. (It’s totally fine to just use blank paper. If you want a cute, printable template, you can find one here.) Write 1 thing on each card that you don’t mind the class knowing. It can be something you did this summer, one of your favorite things, a great accomplishment, something about your family, one of your hobbies etc. Don’t tell anyone what you’re writing! You have 1 minute – please don’t talk when you finish.”
After the minute, give these instructions:
“Fold each card in half – please don’t fold it crazy – we want all the cards to look the same. Then put them in the middle of the group and mix them up really well. Then one person draws one card and reads it. The group then guesses who’s card it was. Try to keep a poker face! If you draw your own card, read it anyways and see if people can guess that it’s yours.” After the group all guesses who they think it is, then whoever’s card it is should tell the group it is theirs and give them more information. Ex. If your card said “I went to Colorado this summer” then you could follow up by saying I went with my family – I have a brother – and we went to the mountains and the hot springs.” If anyone in the group happened to have lived in Colorado, they might say “Oh, I used to live in Denver, did you go there?” etc. Stay on topic, but still get to know each other. Don’t race through!”
Walk around as students are playing and be sure everyone is being included, asking questions and getting to talk. If needed, pause the game and point out some of the good things you are seeing in order to get all groups back on track with engaging and not just going through the questions quickly. You can also stop in with a group and model how to engage by asking questions after it is discovered whose card was selected.
When you have about 2 minutes left, as the groups if there is anyone who didn’t get a turn to be sure they get to share something. (If you are worried about not having enough time for everyone, just have them do 1 or 2 things instead of 2)
I hope these 3 Ice Breakers for Middle School (& High School) help you and your students get to know each other better! You can certainly prepare all of these on your own for free, but if you’re short on time and want to just print and go, click here.
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