Last week, I asked my English 102 movie to watch a movie that would make them think. I gave them a list that they helped make and had them pick one that they hadn't seen. They then had to respond to it on Blackboard and pose a question for the class to discuss. Then they had to answer at least two other peoples' questions. The conversations have been amazing! I have really enjoyed the maturity of thought they have put into their responses. They have discussed everything from war to conspiracy theory to discrimination to teen pregnancy. It's fabulous.
In my 102 class, I have developed a citizenship and volunteerism theme. As part of that, they have to volunteer with a nonprofit agency for at least 15 hours over the semester. Part of their writing for the class is tied in with that experience. It was rough last semester because I was still ironing out what I wanted them to be doing, what was realistic, etc. It's going quite well this semester, though. I think they are enjoying it, too. They're always skeptical at first, of course, but I think it's overall been a great experience.
My English 102 class is my favorite this semester, even better than my upper-level classes. I've really enjoyed their insights into the world.