As of late the students have been responding to the novels that they are reading. Each reading class starts with a mini-lesson and then we apply that knowledge to our novels. Some sample lessons that we have talked about lately are: Scene Snapshot, Conflict, Antagonist, and Character Flaw.
The students have done a terrific job in their responses! Most of the time they are asked to provide two pieces of evidence from their novel to back up their thinking. Additionally, they are give time with a reading "buddy" to share and discuss their thoughts.