For me, these moments are always a breath of fresh air. It's vital students read and take time to process primary sources, but afterwards it's much more important for them to able to apply the information. Not only that, but the group work really makes the class an interesting place to be for a change. While students might be able to take tests and spit back information in a traditional system, the only things that will really stay with them in the long run will be the group work.
Friday, today, and tomorrow, students are wrapping up their small "Hobbit Hero" project in which they have to draw comparisons between the plot of the Hobbit and the plot of two others movies, shows, or books to demonstrate the full force of the "Hero's Journey" cycle. Hopefully I'll have some great examples to post soon!