Over the years I struggled with getting my middle school students excited to read on their own. I tried many things before finalizing this concept - Battle of the Books.
This program I created that is easy to customize to fit your classroom. I use it for all of my language arts classes, with each class acting as a "team," however you could divide one class into smaller groups or have students work individually.
The basic idea is that students read independently, using the bookmarks I created as they go. When they finish, they answer questions on thee bookmark. Again, customize this to your own classroom - have them answer all questions, or have them pick one from each side. After completing the bookmark, students turn them in to have their pages added to their team's points. There is also an opportunity to sabotage other teams, as explained in the "rules" portion.
These bookmarks are also great for doing any type of literary analysis - they provide questions based on vocabulary, theme, setting, and literary responses.
This product includes:
-Classroom sign promoting Battle of the Books
-Rules sign explaining the concept
For more ideas, website reviews and free downloads, check out my blog: www.creativeteachersclassroom.com