Whether you homeschool, teach a Japanese unit with students or run an anime club for tweens, add some pizzazz to lessons with anime activities for middle school students. We have compiled 15 anime activities for middle school students that include more than just your average ideas. Crafts, food recipes, drawing activities, and games are all sure to help anime clubs survive, keep both a physical and digital classroom lesson engaging, or simply provide a fun day for students.
1. Draw Anime “Basic Anatomy”
For students who like to draw, a tutorial on how to sketch the basic anatomy of an anime character will give them a good base for customizing it into any character. Use an image of their favorite character to give them a reference to finishing the anime drawing.
Learn more: Shinigami Arts
2. Beginner Japanese Calligraphy
In this easy-to-follow video, students will learn how to begin writing Japanese calligraphy. Plus, students get to listen to instructions in Japanese followed immediately by an English translation, which is a bonus for those learning the language.
Learn more: Seisho – Japanese Calligraphy [書道]
3. Temporary Tattoos
My middle school child comes home nearly every day with “tattoos” that they and their friends have drawn on themselves, so designing your own temporary tattoos is a great idea for anime activities in middle school clubs. Provide instructions and small anime tattoo ideas, and let students have at it!
4. Origami Tea Packet Favors
During holidays, middle schoolers will love making anime gifts for their friends and family. Origami tea packets are quick and easy to make and can be easily customized for a personalized gift.
Learn more: Zakka Life
In Japan, grandmothers make little bean bags, called Otedama, used for juggling and other games for their grandchildren, similar to hacky sacks. Provide middle schoolers with fabric printed with their favorite anime characters!
Learn more: Activity Village.co.uk
6. Easy Paper Lanterns
A must-do anime activity is paper lanterns, as these are a huge part of learning more about the Japanese people and culture. Plus, these are easy enough to create while watching an anime film to give more active middle schoolers something to keep their hands busy.
Learn more: Inner Child Fun
7. Top Origami for Beginners
Of course, no anime club would be complete without the ultimate origami activity! The Spruce Crafts includes some easy yet popular origami instructions which are perfect for beginners- including the traditional crane, the modular cube box, a tissue box, and much more.
Learn more: The Spruce Crafts
8. Cherry Blossom Art
Have students bring in their empty soda bottles while you provide the paint for an easy way to create cherry blossom art! The instructions from Alpha Mom are very easy to follow, so it’s a good craft for a student who doesn’t feel like a creative person.
Learn more: Alpha Mom
9. Mini Stocking Ornaments/ Gift Holders
These easy felt crafts are a great Christmas anime activity. Middle schoolers will enjoy customizing their mini stocking with their favorite anime art. These are easy enough for students to create several gifts.
Learn more: Otaku Crafts
10. Simple Mochi Recipe
With only a microwave needed, this mochi recipe can be easily completed by middle schoolers in your classroom. Plus, mochi is a yummy, traditional Japanese treat to eat while watching an anime cartoon!
Learn more: Food
11. 10 Japanese Recipes to Create IRL from Anime
While many of these Japanese meal recipes might be difficult to create in a classroom, the first two only require a rice steamer or an electric water boiler. This is an excellent resource for students to use at home to prepare meals ahead of time for the club.
Learn more: The Smart Local
12. Fushi- Fun Fake Sushi
Sure to be an engaging activity, candy craft during anime hour is both fun and tasty! Nothing But Country gives some easy instructions for how to create realistic candy sushi using popular candy, including Rice Krispy treats, Swedish fish, fruit roll-ups, and more.
Learn more: Nothing But Country
13. Fun Games from a Manga Club
What better way to find good anime activities for middle school than to take the ones from a manga club? Book Riot has some fun activities for anime lessons, such as a dice game that’s easy to customize and a “guess that manga” game that you can create for anime films instead.
Learn more: Book Riot
14. Cosplay Contest
Many middle schoolers love cosplay, so why not have a cosplay contest? This is an excellent clubtime activity since it’s more fun with a large group of students that you can divide into groups and assign each a different anime.
Learn more: Honey’s Anime
15. Ideas from a Public Library’s Club
Mooresville’s Public Library Manga/ Anime Club has some incredible activity ideas along with photos of club members’ completed projects. From duct tape weapons to paper parasols, there are plenty of anime activities for middle school students.
Learn more: Mooresville Public Library’s Anime / Manga Club