Friends play a significant role in life, so it’s important to develop the kinds of friendships that are honest, trusting, and accepting. The friends you make from elementary to middle school can become your lifelong companions. You can rely on them to be there during your lows and celebrate your successes with you. It is equally important to be able to identify false friends. Teach your students how life-changing true friends can be, and have them create their inner circles with these fun friendship games.
1. Handwritten Friendship Letters
Gear away from chats and instant messages and have your middle school students create a handwritten friendship letter to their best friend. Give your students something tangible to cherish with an actual letter from their friend.
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2. Line up by Commons
Knowing that you share common interests can be a good foundation for friendship. Ask your middle school students to line up based on a category—based on their birth months, alphabetically by their middle names, by the sports they play, or based on their friendship values.
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3. Friendship Bracelets for Art Class
One of the best friendship activities for middle school students is having them create friendship bracelets or friendship chains. The students can use the available commercial friendship bracelet kits or do everything from scratch using yarns and knots.
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4. Make Art Together
Being creative and asking the students to create art together can boost conversation skills and improve friendship skills. Despite being friends, these students are still unique individuals, so working together on a project is an excellent way to strengthen bonds and appreciate differences and cross-ethnic friendships.
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5. Bingo Card
Distribute personalized Bingo cards to your middle school students. Instead of numbers, each square will have photos on it. For example, a girl walking a dog or a boy playing the guitar. The students will have to go around the classroom and use their social skills to find out who among their classmates owns a dog or plays the guitar.
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6. Friendship Graffiti Wall
This will be a quarter or even year-long project for your preteen students, where a designated wall in your classroom will revolve around the theme of friendship. The students can use quotes, drawings, and other creative ways to interpret friendships with people.
Learn more: Hojo’s Teaching Adventure
7. Friendship Books
Have a stack of books about friendship readily available in your classroom. They could cover barriers to friendship, destructive friendship behaviors, admirable friendship qualities, and building friendship skills. Book suggestions include The Flyers, Harbor Me, and Emmy in the Key of Code.
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8. Trust Activities
Friendship & vulnerability go hand in hand. Trust is critical in a friendship, and asking the students to engage in trust activities is an excellent way to teach them how to be reliable and loyal friends. Some fun activities to build trust include the trust walk and the blindfolded-lead obstacle course
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9. Create a TikTok Friendship Project
Have students create TikTok videos with their friends and assign them a topic to briefly discuss in the video. They can discuss friendship & vulnerability, dealing with false friends, and how to keep fun friendships.
10. Why Am I a Good Friend?
Ask your students to share one instance where they think they exhibited exemplary friendship values. Afterward, commend their behaviors to instill the values of what being a friend means. Maybe it means helping you not succumb to peer pressure, especially for middle and high school students.
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11. The Friend IQ
Have everyone take a test to identify how middle schoolers would react or behave when placed in certain circumstances revolving around friendships and relationships.
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12. Play the Human Knot
In this game, students who rarely speak to each other will talk more as they get tangled in this human mess of knots made of arms and bodies. The more participants you have, the more enjoyable and complicated the game becomes.
Learn more: Theatre Folk
13. Play Sardines
This isn’t just for elementary school students- middle school students can learn a lot about teamwork by playing sardines; a fun hide-and-seek game with a twist.
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14. Relay Races
Strategy, communication, and teamwork make all the difference in a friendship. You can have the students play the classic game of racing different obstacle courses to see who finishes first or even conduct other relay race activities.
Learn more: 25 Relay Race Ideas for Any Age
15. Distribute Friendship Worksheets
Teaching the foundations of friendship through study materials is a more traditional approach, but it still works. One type of friend might be different from another. You can incorporate these insights into your lesson plan and do follow-through activities.
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