Middle school students are at a fantastic age where they are curious and eager to explore their creativity through different learning experiences, such as creating a solar oven or making a video with their peers. Engaging them in fun project ideas is an excellent way to promote their learning, enhance their skills, and build their confidence. However, with so many fun project ideas already used, it can be challenging to find some new and exciting fun project ideas.
In this blog post, I have compiled a list of 32 fun project ideas specifically tailored to middle school students. These ideas are unique and interesting and will help students learn and develop new skills while working with their classmates.
So, whether you’re a teacher or a parent looking for fun project ideas for your middle schooler, you’re sure to find something on this list of 32 fun project ideas.
32 Fun Project Ideas
Create a podcast episode based on the topic of study. For example, students could explain a concept from a content area or interview a main character from a novel.
Have students debate an idea. If you are learning about electric vehicles in class, students can debate if they are environmentally friendly. Students could also debate a school issue (e.g., uniforms) for an oral communication mark.
Students can work in pairs or groups to create a game. This is a great way to review for a major test. They can make a quiz show game using Kahoot, Picker, Blooket or Quizizz, or they can kick it old school by creating a Jeopardy game.
Have students create a virtual field trip to locations learned about during lessons. If you are learning about New France or the Confederation of Canada, students can curate a virtual field trip for their peers to take.
To represent a theme or a curated set of ideas for a content area subject – students can make a collage to show how different items and ideas are connected.
What about having students create their own reader’s theatre script? Students can take an important scene from a novel and rewrite it as a script to present to the class. They could also do this for a picture book.
A tableau is a powerful way to present ideas.
What about having students present good news to the class? You could make this a special thing just for Mondays or Fridays.
Host a panel discussion. If students are really interested in a certain topic or a variety of topics, have them complete the research and share it in this format. This could also be turned into a talk show format.
Let students create their own videos! Before any filming occurs, students must follow each step of the video creation process. This starts with them getting topic approval and creating a storyboard. Learn more about video creation in this PSAs Versus Commercials Unit or this Mockumentary Unit.
Some students love to draw. How can you incorporate drawing into your lessons? Could students sketch diagrams, novel characters or events and then add explanations detailing the choices they made for their drawings? This Art Sketchbook Assignment might give you some ideas.
Use 3D modelling software (e.g., Tinkercad, SketchUp) to create items that can be printed on a 3D printer. Some school districts have a 3D printer that you can send projects. Also, some public libraries offer 3D printing services.
Switch roles – let the students teach their peers. In this Non-Fiction Book Report, students select a topic of interest, read the book and then create an informative lesson based on information learned in their readings to share with the class.
Students can also host a class discussion. This Hot Topics Class Discussion Assignment gives students full control over what they want to discuss with their classmates (within reason and using the gradual release framework to scaffold this skill for students).
Embrace social media and email. Let students create fake social media posts/videos/emails that relate to your topic of study. Teaching the water cycle? Let students figure out how they, as influencers, would get their followers excited about this content. I do not allow students to actually create social media accounts. They must make these posts using other means, e.g. iMovie, Canva, Google Slides templates etc.
Could students create a Cloze reading activity for their peers about a specific topic? Students create a reading passage but purposely leave out certain words. Once students learn about the topic, they can fill in the words. Students could combine this with a word bank scavenger hunt using the words or QR codes as words. Once students find all the words for their word bank, they can solve the Cloze reading passage.
Don’t forget about digital escape rooms. Students can create their own to share with their peers. Have them play a few digital escape rooms before they create their own. These digital escape rooms can be used in any subject. Learn more about Why Integrate Science Digital Escape Rooms Into Your Classroom? in that article.
Book talks and book unboxings are great ways to get students excited about reading and a way to assess their reading skills. Students could create their own unboxing videos and unbox any items related to a specific topic.
Let students build something – e.g., dioramas or items out of cardboard or wood. It all depends on the materials available to them and their skills and interests.
Don’t discount students putting together a portfolio of their work. We do not always need to be marking elaborate assignments.
Demonstrations are also a fun way to have students showcase their learning. What did they learn, and how can they show the class this new learning?
Virtual museums – students have to select a certain number of items that go into their virtual museum. As a Canadian History summative assessment for my Grade 8 students, I had them select ten things they learned about in our unit. Then, they had to go through their notes and select ten items/people/events/places to put into their virtual museums. It was interesting to see what they chose and the reasoning behind these choices.
Have students follow the Inquiry Process and share their findings with the class. This works well for content area subjects.
Host a fair – not a carnival with games but a fair where students research a topic and share it on poster board with other students at the school. Science fairs are popular, but let’s think outside the box. What about a career fair with students showcasing a career they learned about? Or a math fair where older students create games for younger students to play.
Have you considered letting students build a Rube Goldberg machine? Students create a machine that performs a task. For an amazing example, check out the music video for OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass.” While students’ machines will be much simpler than this one, these machines are a great way to encourage students to be creative and unique.
Create a newspaper or magazine. Assign different parts to different students based on their interests and strengths. Students could even write an advice column about different topics for health class, social issues or advice to novel characters.
Have students deliver a speech on a topic they are passionate about from the learning.
Let students create their own songs or poems about the unit of study. Spoken word poetry is a fantastic way to get students engaged in poetry. Try this free spoken word poetry lesson.
Many students love taking photos. Have students take curated photos. This Book Flatlay Project walks students through this process. Students could also create a photo essay with their images.
Cartoons, comic books and memes (depending on the topic) can be created and used by students to show their understanding of a topic. Students can use tools like Canva or Pixton to illustrate their ideas.
Create stop-motion videos. Students can create these videos using classroom materials like Legos, clay, paper, glue, etc. They can then use apps like Stop Motion Studio or iStopMotion to create their videos.
For students who love coding, let them develop an app. Students can use online app development tools to create their own apps. They can design an app that meets a specific need.
One of the best ways to get students interested and engaged in their learning is by giving them choices. Take ideas from this list of fun project ideas and offer students choice boards or multiple options for final assignments. You can also have students suggest their own ideas and submit an official project proposal, as explained in this article Student Designed Assessments. We do not always have to do all of the work.
These fun project ideas for middle school students can help them develop their creativity, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. From building a Rube Goldberg machine to creating a podcast, a talk show or creating a stop-motion animation, these projects are not only educational but also very engaging. Encouraging middle school students to explore different fun project ideas can help them discover their interests and talents, all while fostering a love of learning. So try out some of these fun project ideas or come up with your own unique assignments to inspire your students.
Are you looking for more daily lesson ideas? Check out this blog post, 18 Effective Teaching Strategies, for ideas on how to make your lesson more fun.