Every teacher faces the challenge of trying to engage students, cover essential content in a novel, and allowing student the opportunity to critically think about the content. This is one of the BEST ways I have found to do so in my 14 years of teaching. An essential excerpt is given to the students and a guided annotation key is provided. Students, read/annotate, critically think, then write. Grading rubric also provided. Activity clearly connects to Common Core in multiple areas. Used and approved by a team of teachers in the classroom over time.