This is a great way to prepare students for small group discussions about a given text. The handout is generalized and designed to accommodate any text you may assign your students. It can be used for readings ranging from contemporary news articles to chapters from history books.
The first handout (the Reading Response and Discussion Prep Form) is to be used as students read the text. It asks students to first summarize the entire text they have read. Then, it has students pull out three specific quotes from the text and explain why they found those quotes particularly striking.
The second handout (the Group Discussion Form) is to be used during the small group discussion. It walks students through the process of sharing their summaries and quotes, having group members not only listen to others' quotes and comments, but also having students record what their group members are saying.
With these handouts, students will be more prepared for and more engaged in small group discussion!
(As a side note, to wrap up the discussion day, I have then asked each group to share out to the whole class 1-2 ideas that they discussed and found interesting, etc., and we've often spun into a whole class discussion, depending on the interest-level of the reading.)