I teach high school Spanish and before we dive into grammar and vocab I like to break the ice with some creative questions. These ice breaker questions would work for any content area, they are in English.
They're not your usual ice breaker questions; they always get my kids talking and even laughing a little. They always get a kick out of "On a scale from 1-10, how cool are you?"... There's always an 11 in the class.
This is a power point presentation, I project it on the screen. The first slide has 11 questions. The second slide has the instructions. But you could write the questions on the board.
I give the students a couple minutes to ask the person next to them all the questions, and vice versa. Then they take turns introducing their partner and giving us the answer to one of their questions. Here are the first 2 questions, just for a sample:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
2. What are your 15 minutes of fame?
It helps the kids break the ice and maybe even find out something they have in common. It helps me put information, a name, and a face together to help me start to remember who they are.
In a classroom it's so important to create that comfortable environment where kids feel like they can express thoughts and ideas that will enrich the lesson.