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    The Great Books Foundation
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    Chicago, IL 60601-2105

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Creating a world of readers and thinkers

The Great Books Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization. We create and publish the Junior Great Books® program, and we produce books and initiatives that support lifelong learning. Through inquiry, reading, and discussion, we inspire people of all ages and from all walks of life to become more knowledgeable, reflective, and engaged citizens. Please join us in creating a world of readers and thinkers.

Through our community outreach programs we encourage people to become reflective and well-informed citizens by reading about and discussing issues that impact each of us and the world we share.


Six Ways to Help Quiet Students Participate in Discussions

You want everyone to participate in your classroom discussion—but some students hardly ever speak! Try the strategies below for helping quiet students join the discussion. They will often begin participating when they feel supported and understood.

  1. Value all ideas. Remind students that because the purpose of discussion is to learn from each other and consider different perspectives, all ideas are valuable. The Shared Inquiry Discussion Guidelines, found in Junior Great Books and Roundtable student books, stress the importance of sharing ideas—review them with students before beginning a discussion.
  2. Give time to think. Many students have a hard time spontaneously answering questions. Giving these students (or perhaps your whole class) the discussion question to take home the night before the discussion offers them ample time to think about—and compose, if you wish—an initial response.
  3. QuietStudentsHave students write. After you pose (and display) the discussion question, give students time to write their

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Great Books & the Chicago History Museum’s “Chicago Authored” Exhibit

We’re honored by the Chicago History Museum’s invitation to participate in its December 9 Middle and High School Student Symposium introducing students to the museum’s ”Chicago Authored” exhibit. During the symposium, students from 5 public and private schools will explore Chicago literature through gallery experiences, writing workshops, live readings, and thought-provoking discussion sessions. Great Books staff will lead discussions of texts by Carolyn Martineau, Carl Sandburg, Paul Dailing or Gwendolyn Brooks, allowing students to reflect on and engage with the work of artists featured in the exhibit. The symposium will be an exciting and full day for participating students, beginning with Chicago History Museum historian Peter Alter introducing students to the notion that our understanding of Chicago is shaped by those who have written
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What People Are Saying

The Shared Inquiry training was phenomenal!…

--Lynn Tschaplinski K-6 Reading Coordinator Oak Ridge Schools Oak Ridge, TN

This may sound like an exaggeration, but Great Books saved my sanity…. For two years it was the center of my life. Thank you Great Books.

--Virginia Tschanz Westminster, CO

Junior Great Books is making such a difference with our students….

--Dr. Grace A. Reid Principal Bernard Elementary School Washington, D.C.

As a child I went through the Junior Great Books program and really want my children to have the same experience. I feel that this is the best program out there to provide my children with the critical thinking skills they will need to succeed later in life, and I'm excited to be working to bring a Junior Great Books program to their school!

--Parent Volunteer Coordinator Elementary School Illinois




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