Topic is stated, then a number of thought provoking questions are given to generate students' thoughts, get their ideas flowing. I use these weekly during the novel, passed out Mondays for a Wednesday Lit Circle discussion. Points for written response and points fro sharing orally. The assignment states to have a verbal & written response prepared. "Participation points are given for providing a verbal response AND turning in your written notes."
These are #3 of 5 Lit Circle questions. The first one here is fairly brief, they get longer and more intricate as they move toward #5.