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17 Brain Breaks Tailored for High Schoolers

Category: Recommendation

17 Brain Breaks Tailored for High Schoolers

High school is a complex and transformative phase in a student's life. The academic demands, coupled with a packed schedule, can often leave students feeling overwhelmed and mentally fatigued. To cope with this, it is essential to incorporate brain breaks into the daily routine. These short interludes allow students to recharge their minds, enhance focus, and foster a sense of pleasure and connection amidst the hustle and bustle of the school day.

Effective Brain Break Ideas For School Students


Artistic Imagination

Set free the creativity of your students with an artful challenge. Begin with a challenging doodle or shape on the board and encourage students to metamorphose it into something absolutely out of the box. Invite volunteers to propose the initial drawing prompt to empower choice and artistic expression. This exercise stimulates imagination and provides an artistic dimension to the classroom.

Coordination Challenge

This physical brain break challenges your high school students' coordination and perseverance. Instruct them to touch their nose with their right index finger and their ear with their left-hand index finger. Then, reverse the positions. It's a race against the clock as students try to grasp this challenge, transforming it into an enticing competition.

Dilemmas and Discussions

Promote critical thinking and teamwork by pairing students to contemplate interesting "dilemma debates." Questions include choosing between a world without technology or one without nature. Such topics can ignite spirited discussions. Elevate this activity by having the whole class physically position themselves on either side of the classroom, reinforcing physical activity and vocal interaction.

Serenity Break

Dim the classroom lighting, set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes, and introduce tranquil background melodies. During this serene interlude, students close their eyes, engage in deep breaths, and cleanse their minds. This moment of tranquillity enables them to process their latest learnings and prepare mentally for the approaching educational endeavours.

Empathy Balls

Create a supportive environment where students can openly share their anxieties and thoughts on mental health. Each pupil writes down a stressor on a piece of paper, crumples it into a "snowball," and partakes in a lighthearted snowball fight. Subsequently, they choose a snowball, unravel it, and read about their classmates' concerns. This activity empowers students to decide their level of participation, fostering a secure and compassionate environment.

Flight of Fancy

Introduce a brief paper aircraft challenge to foster teamwork and problem-solving acumen. Divide students into small groups and furnish them with materials; however, withhold commands or templates. They should collaborate to construct the most efficient paper aeroplane. Following construction, the students compete to determine which creation can flow the farthest across the room.

Nonverbal Puzzle Quest

Challenge your class to communicate solely via nonverbal means by providing small groups of students with a set of puzzle pieces. Their task is to gather the puzzle without uttering a word. The silence adds a unique twist to this brain break, encouraging teamwork and innovative thinking.

Balloon Keep-Up

Enhance coordination and teamwork with this interactive balloon game. Students form a circle, clasp hands, and endeavour to hold a balloon afloat using unconventional body parts such as heads, feet, shoulders, and elbows. You can introduce a competitive element by dividing the class into teams to decide which team can sustain the balloon in the air for the longest duration.

Curiosity Spark

Ignite interest by unveiling a fascinating photograph related to your subject matter with no context. Let students' inquisitiveness take the reins as they undertake to decipher what they are staring at and why it is significant. This exercise fosters curiosity and introduces students to new concepts they may not have formerly encountered.

Tournament of Gestures

Transform the classic game of rock, paper, and scissors into an interesting classroom tournament. Winners advance to compete against one another, generating a sense of excitement in the classroom.

Mathematical Showdown

Challenge students' quick thinking and mathematical skills by having them display a certain number of fingers in response to a count of numbers. The first to correctly calculate the number of fingers displayed claims victory in that round. It is a simple yet effective technique to engage minds and foster mental agility.

The Cup-Stacking Challenge

Promote teamwork and coordination with a thrilling cup-stacking challenge. Students work in groups to stack cups with the assistance of index cards. The goal is to finish the stack and remove the index cards as swiftly as possible, injecting an element of competition into the task.

Classwide Word Exploration

Harness the power of word games to stimulate critical thinking and improve vocabulary. Engage as a class, with students offering suggestions and voting on their favourite guesses. This activity not only captivates students but also encourages friendly competition.

Energising Sequences

To maintain students' alertness during extended lessons, allocate a few minutes for stretching and movement. Devise a concise sequence of physical games that students can carry out collectively to invigorate their bodies, which include 5 high knees, 4 jumping jacks, 3 push-ups, 2 deep breaths, and 1 squat. Offering students the option to participate while standing or sitting and stretching in their preferred manner ensures inclusivity.

Spot the Imposter

Challenge students' perception and understanding of artificial intelligence with an engaging game. Present four images and prompt students to identify the AI-generated imposter within a confined time frame. Play together as a class, as it can spur fascinating discussions about student perceptions and misconceptions of AI.

Collaborative Story Crafting

Open a fresh Google Document and provoke a collaborative storytelling experience. One student begins by contributing a sentence, which sets the narrative in movement. You can also have ChatGPT generate the opening sentence. For example, "Amidst the chaos of the carnival, I found myself face-to-face with a llama." Subsequently, each pupil adds a sentence, and the story evolves with each contribution. Finally, read the collaborative story aloud to the class and discover the final creation. This activity encourages creativity and teamwork.

Invisible Artistry

In pairs, one pupil will become the "artist," drawing an invisible picture in the air while their partner endeavours to decipher the picture. To provide a starting point, offer categories like food, animals, or places, and allow the guessing partner to pose one or two yes-or-no questions for contextual clues. This activity sparks imagination and communication skills.


Wrapping Up

Incorporating dynamic brain breaks into a high school classroom not only revitalises students but also reinforces engagement, promotes well-being, and creates an environment where learning is fun and enriching. These brief intermissions, tailored for teenagers, are important building blocks for their academic journey, fostering a zest for learning. If you want a comprehensive list of schools offering enriching experiences to each student, Skoodos is the best resort. The school search engine provides a list of schools nationwide for you to select the best one for your child. It enables you to search according to boards and other categories and make comparisons of different schools in your selected area. 

Published on: 11 Dec 2023
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