One of the best ways to break the ice when trying to encourage students to stand up in front of their peers is playing a game first. There are gobs of theater games out there, but this one is one of my favorites…
Theater Game: Who am I?
Description: A student is sent out of the classroom (or at least out of earshot) and when they return, they must interact with other students until they know the famous person or occupation the class has chosen for them.
Connections to other content areas:
History: choose famous people from history
Science: choose scientific careers (doctors, optometrists, field researchers, zoo keepers), or people who have made famous discoveries
English: choose prominent characters from literature (especially books you have read in class)