Word Play: Alphabattles! is a very versatile, interactive partner/group activity that can be applied to novel study OR nonfiction reading. It's very simple to introduce, and it's applications are numerous. For a given topic or text, each student must find one word/phrase for each letter of the alphabet. Then, in partners (or groups), each student shares his/her choice for a letter - defending the choice if challenged. If any other student shares the same choice, neither student gets a "point." After working through the alphabet, only the most unique words/phrases remain in each partnership/group.
Sharing out whole class (and charting) serves as great reinforcement of key concepts of the text.