The students did a sociogram of the story. I asked them to note who the main character was, and then symbolize that relationship on the white boards. They connected them with dotted lines (for distance), double solid lines (for closeness), etc. We then discussed what they saw. Some were very creative.
This activity turned out to be an effective way to get the students into the text. We had good conversations and good debates. Most of the discussions circled around which character is the focus of the story. I think this is an exceptional way to help them to begin to closely read the text.