Annotating is a tough tool to teach, but with lots of practice, students can get the hang of it and begin to do it on their own. This assignment takes the first few pages from the distopian book The House of the Scorpions by Nancy Farmer and encourages them to take the text apart, mark it up, and try to see if they can figure out what is happening. Sometimes, the hardest part of reading a book is getting started- I have had many students continue the novel after getting a feel for it this way! This also is an excellent utopia/distopia discussion starter.
Follow-up questions and rubric are Common Core aligned. Material is scaffolded three ways for skill level.