The key to choosing good conversation topics for teens is to stop and consider what they're really interested in. Whether you're a teacher or parent looking to engage in dialogue with a teenager or you're a teen looking for ways to chat with your peers, use these conversation starters for teens as a source of inspiration.
High school conversation starters work great as an activity for the first day of school, when you need students to get focused at the start of class or even at the dinner table. Print out this list of 12 conversation topics for teens to keep on hand for moments when you need them.
The best way to get someone talking is to find a topic that they're passionate about. When you're looking to chat with a teenager, consider starting out by asking some questions designed to get a sense of where their interests lie.
- How do you like to spend your free time?
- What's the funniest prank you have been involved with? What made it so funny?
- What do you wish your parents' generation had done differently? Why?
- What is your favorite after-school activity? What do you like about it?
- What school rule(s) do you wish would be eliminated? Why?
- What's your favorite subject in school? What do you like about it?
- What do you like the best about your favorite teacher? Why?
- Out of your accomplishments, which ones make your family members the proudest? Why?
- What is your most embarrassing moment that you're willing to share? What did you learn from it?
- Out of all of the Halloween costumes you have worn, which is your favorite? Why?
Teenagers love to talk about things that they really like as well as things they dislike. Use the items below to get teenagers talking about things they enjoy and things they'd prefer to avoid.
- What's your least favorite food that most people seem to like? Why do you dislike it?
- What's your absolute favorite food? How do you like it to be prepared?
- What's your favorite after-school snack? Would you eat it every day if you could?
- What book did you most like for an adult to read to you when you were little? What did you like about it?
- What is your favorite book now? Why do you like it?
- What's your favorite outdoor activity? What do you enjoy about it?
- What are your three favorite games to play? What do you like about them?
- What are your favorite hobbies? What do you enjoy about them?
- What kinds of movies or TV shows do you like to watch? Why?
- What is the worst movie or TV show you have ever seen? What did you dislike about it?
Friendships and family relationships are focal points of daily life for most teenagers. With that in mind, relationship-related conversation topics are good ones to consider when you're looking for ideas of what to talk about with teenagers.
- If I asked your best friend to describe you, what would they say?
- What are the most important traits for a friend to have?
- What's the difference between a good friend and a best friend?
- What are your favorite things to do when spending time with friends?
- Are you closer to your siblings or your friends? Why do you think that is?
- What do you personally do to make sure that you are a good friend to the people who are important to you?
- Which of your family members are you the most like? What traits do you share with those people?
- Who in your life do you consider a mentor? How has that person helped make you the person you are today?
- Which of your family members has had the most influence on the person you are today? How have they influenced you?
- How would you describe the role social media plays in your relationships with friends that you spend time with in real life?
- What's your idea of the ideal first date? Describe what it would be like.
Many teens are closely tuned in to current events and social issues, so these topics can be great conversation starters for high school students and other teens.
- If you had a say in how the country's government operates, what changes would you like to see?
- What do you see as the most important social issues in the world today?
- If you had to pick just one cause to fight for, which one would it be?
- How can teenagers contribute to improving their community?
- What experience have you had with bullying during your time in school?
- Do you think the minimum wage should be increased? Why or why not?
- What thoughts do you have on how to improve school safety?
- What do you feel that your/our generation can do to have a meaningful, positive impact on the environment?
- What do you think cars will be like ten years from now?
- What advice would you like to give to adults about how to make the world a better place by the time you are an adult?
Age-appropriate, thought-provoking questions can make terrific high school conversation starters. Try the what-if scenarios below. If they work well, explore these would you rather questions for more ideas.
- What if you could travel back in time to meet any historical figure you want? Who would it be? What would you ask them?
- What if you could have any vehicle that you want, no matter how much it costs? What would you choose? Why?
- What if you could live in a fantasy world from a book or movie? Which one would you choose? Why?
- What if you could really live on another planet? Which planet would you choose and why?
- What if you could live anywhere on Earth? Where would you go? What appeals to you about that location?
- What if someone offered you a million dollars to create a piece of art of your choosing? What would it look like?
- What if you had no choice but to give up internet access? What would change in your daily routine?
- What if you had the ability to choose the curriculum for your grade in school? What subjects would you choose and why?
- What if you were in charge of writing a school theme song? What music genre would you choose? What would some of the words be?
- What if you got to design and build a house for your family to live in? Describe what it would be like.
Since high school students are in the last phase of their K-12 education, many are starting to think about what comes next. Consider striking up a conversation about what comes next.
- What is your dream career? Why interests you about it?
- Do you think that everyone should go to college after high school? Why or why not?
- Do you think it's a good idea to work for a while after high school before making up your mind about a long-term career?
- What excites you the most about what comes after high school? What do you find to be the most stressful about it?
- What do you think will be the most challenging parts of adjusting to life after high school?
- How do you think your relationship with your family will change after you finish high school?
- What advice would you give to younger students regarding how to make the most of high school?
- What do you think you'll miss the most about being in school after you graduate from high school? Why?
- What will you be glad to not have to do anymore once you graduate from high school? Why?
- How will you maintain relationships with your best friends once you aren't seeing them in school every day?
- When you get your own apartment or dorm room, what's the first thing you plan to buy for it that you can't have now. Why would you choose this item?
Keeping a conversation going with a teenager isn't that difficult, but it can be challenging to get started. The key lies in selecting a topic that teenagers truly want to talk about. The conversation starters for teens provided above can help you do just that. For even more inspiration, review these getting-to-know-you questions for students. The more ideas you have for interesting teenage conversation topics, the better prepared you'll be when opportunities to strike up a conversation present themselves.