The seats in my classroom are arranged in groups of 4, and, of course, periodically I change their seating assignments. When I do so, they talk for about 3-4 minutes, and they have to learn everyone's name, and I throw out another question they're to pursue. Afterwards, we go around the class, and a group representative has to share with the class.
Past questions have been about: favorite ice cream, places they've visited, etc. Yesterday's question (which I think that now is my all-time favorite) was, "what's your earliest childhood memory?" There were some funny ones. One student said that he started a food fight in 1st grade and told us the circumstances behind that. Another girl said that when she was 4, she told her brother that he was adopted and made him cry. Another boy remembers being cold and pressing his hand against a hot iron. Hmmmm, I'm noticing a bad theme here.