One was to team up with a partner. One would be blindfolded, the other not. The blindfolded one was to take pictures, the other one was to keep the blindfolded one from stepping out into traffic.
Another was an assignment to pick a spot somewhere and take a photo. Then you were to take 5 steps and shoot another one. Repeat until you run out of film.
Yes, these sound ridiculously absurd, but you'd be amazed at what you can learn about photographs from doing them, especially the first one.
As for books, we only had one: Swedlund, Photography: a handbook of history, materials and processes. A great book. We didn't do much reading as my professors weren't much into theory. The idea was, you looked at a LOT of photographs and then went out, made some on your own, brought them back to class and talked about them as a group.
I still think you'll learn a lot more about photography by looking at and making pictures than you'll ever learn by reading about it. I also recommend seeing lots of films and reading other things -- for me, it was literature.
Learn to think in pictures.