This is an organizer with instructions, making your work minimal. It's a cooperative learning activity that includes text types, author's purpose, close reading, vocabulary, note taking, summarizing, and main idea.
There is one version with instructions on the page, and one with the steps separate. I'd use the latter, to start out, at least.
There is also a teacher planning page if you want to try that.
The summary can serve as your assessment, the main idea can be shared for a closing, and the notes and rewrite of the text are built in checks for understanding. Voila!
All you need is a text and a list of vocabulary to preload, and all students need is the text, two pieces of notebook paper, a pencil, a highlighter, and the handout. Or three pieces of notebook paper, even.
Teach kids how to do it at the beginning of the year so you can go back to it with very little prep or fuss, while getting a good bang for your $1.
The fifty min. teaching time can be shortened or stretched out, depending on the text you select.