I love to create centers based on students' ideas, and then they can choose which center to be a part of. For example, after reading The Outsiders, there was a center to write a screen play of a chapter, another where the chapters were adapted into narrative poems using the sonnet rhyme scheme, another where they created graphic novels, etc.... All students were providing objective summaries and citing textual evidence and having rich discussions, but they were engaged in activities that were meaningful. It worked awesome.
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We have done a really good centers activity related to literary terms. The students have a task at each station (make up five alliterations related to food, what prepositional phrases describe this picture, is it an allusion?... etc.) The students work with a partner and switch to each station based on a timed session. They fill up their "score card" and whichever team has the most correct entries at the end of the rotations wins a prize. We have done this every year with various topics. No more than 7 "stations" works best.
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