Anyway, have you tried silent discussion? It’s a variation on what roaringgrrl describes: when each of the students writes down a question they really have about the text—a question to which they really have no answer, something debatable—and then pass their question around the room until everyone had had a crack at it. Almost all the time, this exercise worked very well for me, with students gasping, “I’d never thought of that!” When we hitched the wagons, they’d get into debates.

A comment LuckyJane left at Quills.