The more often students can interact with each other about the text, the more engaged they'll be. I've found that the activities in Texts & Lessons (Daniels/Steineke) have been really useful for this. A few: Save the Last Word for Me, Find an Expert, Tweet a Text, Sketching through the Text (and then students use each other's sketches to explain the text), Written Discussion, Carousel Brainstorming, Tableaux, Quotation Mingle.
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The New York Times Learning Network just published a long article on multiple types of "annotation" that may be helpful. Check it out: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/skills-and-strategies-annotating-to-engage-analyze-connect-and-create/
When I was in high school, we had to assume the role of a character from our book and then react to a given situation based on our understanding of the character. It was a thoughtful exercise that made us dig deep to try to understand each characters point of view. It provided a nice interactive break (somewhat humorous as well) and also generated a great deal of debate.
Thanks!! All of these are really useful!
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