I used this idea when I used a Hollywood/movie theme in my classroom, but it is an entertaining icebreaker for any theme.
1. Before school starts, make each student an 8 1/2 by 11 poster with the name of a movie star, fictional character, or famous person (living or deceased).
2. Before beginning this icebreaker activity, explain to the students that each one of them will have one of these mini-posters stuck to his/her back. To reveal the name on their back, they may ask yes or no questions to members of the class. Encourage students to mention their name at the beginning of the exchange so students can start placing names and faces. One question per student. Encourage students to be honest and not give away fictional identities.
3. Let them loose. If a student thinks he/she knows his/her fictional identity, he/she may check with the teacher. If he/ she is correct, they may still help others in helping to solve the mystery. If he/she is incorrect, he/she needs to continue to find the correct identity.
4. Process the experience with the class. This experience is a springboard for open communication in the classroom as well as beginning to build a rapport between classmates and teacher.
Submitted by: Jackie Jaros - Deer Lakes Middle School, Grade 6 - Russellton, PA