If you’re teaching teenagers at middle school you know how easily they can lose interest if they’re not having fun in class. A great way to keep middle school students engaged is to use fun and engaging classroom games. Below we have put together 10 of our favorite classroom games for middle school students. These games are not only great for ESL middle school students but can also be used as a fun classroom activity in any class teaching teenagers.
10 Classroom Games For Middle School Students
1: The 20 Questions Game
The 20 questions game is a great ESL speaking activity for middle school students. If you’re not familiar with this game, the rules are simple. One student thinks of a secret object and doesn’t tell anyone. The only thing they tell the other students is the kind of thing it is. For example, they might tell them it’s an animal, a type of food, a famous person, etc.
Next, the students can ask up to 20 yes/no questions to try and figure out what the secret object is. For example, if the secret word is a type of food, students might ask “Is it a fruit?“, “Is it yellow?“, etc. This game is a fantastic way to get teenagers talking and best of all, it requires no preparation from the teacher. Check out these 20 question game ideas and examples for some categories and words you can use in this fun classroom game.
2: Top Five Quiz Game
Next on our list of fun classroom games for middle school students is the ‘Top Five Quiz’ game. Teenagers absolutely love this game, especially when they get the top answer. To play, students will need a pencil and paper to write down their answers and points. Students can play individually, in pairs, or in small teams.
In this kind of quiz, each question has multiple possible answers. For example, “Name an animal you can keep as a pet.” Students must write down just ONE answer and if their answer is in the ‘Top Five’ answers, they score the following points:
1 = 10 Points
2 = 7 Points
3 = 5 Points
4 = 3 Points
5 = 2 Points
If the students’ answers are not in the ‘Top Five’ answers, they get zero points. At the end of the quiz, the student/team with the most points is the winner. For a ready-made quiz and a template to add your own questions to, check out our Top Five Quiz PowerPoint Game page.
3: The Forehead Game
This next game is often played at parties, but it can also be easily adapted to play in the classroom with middle school students. To play, one student (or the teacher) must write down keywords from the lesson on pieces or paper/post-it notes. Next, the students in the class would choose one of the pieces of paper at random and, without looking at it, stick it to their forehead so everyone else in the class can see.
Next, players take turns asking yes/no questions to find out the word stuck to their head. For example, if you were teaching students about jobs and occupations vocabulary, students might ask “Do I work in a hospital?”, “Do I wear a uniform to work?, etc. The student who guesses their word with the fewest questions is the winner.
4: Describe And Draw Game
This next activity requires students to use their speaking skills to describe a picture. To play, divide students into pairs and provide a set of interesting pictures or flashcards to one student in each pair. Next, the student with the pictures must describe a picture in as much detail as possible to their partner. The other student must try and draw what their partner is describing.
After a few minutes, have students compare the drawing with the real picture to see how accurate their drawing and descriptions were. This game often leads to some hilarious drawings and teenagers have lots of fun playing this activity.
5: What Am I? Quizzes
Quizzes like our ‘What Am I?’ quizzes are fantastic activities to play with middle school students in class. If you’re not familiar with these kinds of quizzes, the concept is simple. Students will read two or three clues describing something and then must guess ‘What Am I?’. For example, “I have 2 hands but no arms. I have a face but no eyes. What Am I?”, with the answer being ‘A Clock’. Here are 40 ‘What Am I?’ Quiz Questions And Answers you can use in your class.
6: Would You Rather Game
This next activity is great for getting students speaking and expressing their opinions. For this activity, all you need is some Would You Rather Questions. Put students in pairs and provide them with many ‘Would you rather?’ questions, and have them take turns asking their partner the question. After which, students should make their choice and then express three reasons why they chose what they did.
The classic word game Scattergories is a fantastic game to use in class with middle school students. There are several ways to play this game in class, but the basic idea of the game is simple. Put students into small teams and provide them with a category and then give them some time to come up with as many unique words as possible. For each word that they write down which is not on another team’s list, they get a point.
Scategories Example Categories
Here are some example Scattegories categories for ESL students:
- Fruits And Vegetables
- School Subjects
- Feeling And Emotions
- Jobs And Occupations
- Daily Routines
Riddles help middle school students to develop their thinking ability, creativity, and can even improve their reading comprehension skills. Not only that, students really have fun deciphering cryptic clues and working out the answer. However, if the riddles are too hard, rather than having fun, students will just be frustrated. So, if you’re planning on using riddles in class, be sure to choose some easy riddles. The Above video has 10 easy riddles for ESL students that you can show in class.
9: Mystery Box Game
For this game, you’ll need the Mystery Box Game template which is a fun PowerPoint game you can use in class with teenagers. Before the class, you will need to add questions to the PowerPoint template based on the topic you are currently studying in class.
To play the game, divide the class into two teams. Teams will take turns choosing a letter and then answering the question on the slide. After which, students will see the ‘Mystery Box’. They can then choose to KEEP the box or GIVE the box to the other team. Inside the box is either good points (e.g +100) or bad points (-100).
So, if a team decides to keep the box, they could win points but they risk losing points. And if a team chooses to give the box, they might make the other team lose points but they risk giving them points, too. At the end of the game, the team with the most points is the winner.
10: Hot Seat
Hot Seat is a great game you can play with middle school students to review vocabulary, or as just a fun time-filler activity. If you’re not sure how to play Hot Seat, then check out the video above. It shows how to play Hot Seat in class, and you can even show this instruction video to your students to show them how to play.
The basic gist of Hot Seat is to have one student in the ‘Hot Seat’, which is a chair at the front of the class. The teacher would then show the other students a word and then the other students must describe that word without saying the word itself, while the student in the ‘Hot Seat’ must try to guess.
Thanks for reading. I hope your students enjoy these activities. Before you go, don’t forget to check out our other free classroom games, including Activity Videos, PowerPoint Games, and Online Quizzes.