Programs for All Ages > K-12 > Common Core State Standards


For 50 years Great Books programs have helped students achieve what the Common Core State Standards now demand.

The Common Core State Standards mandate these key instructional shifts to meet the English Language Arts standards. Hover over each below to see how Great Books can help your school meet these rigorous demands.

Watch this video to see students meeting the Common Core standards
through Great Books activities.

Great Books programs feature anthologies of outstanding literature by award-winning authors from around the world. Our literature selections are specially selected for their engaging, vivid writing. And Junior Great Books® ThinkIt offers critical thinking reinforcement activities, paired with informational texts for middle-elementary students.
Great Books texts progress in reading level and conceptual complexity from grade to grade. Our professionally rendered audio CDs help struggling readers access even our most challenging selections. And our professional learning offerings along with our teacher support materials help educators provide the necessary scaffolding and differentiation strategies to give all students the opportunity to reach the top.
Great Books readings for middle and high school help transform students into independent thinkers across the curriculum. In addition to an international range of literature for English language arts classes, we also offer a range of texts for science and social studies, as well as for service learning and civics programs.
Shared Inquiry™ discussion has been the hallmark of all Great Books K-12 programs for fifty years. Students prepare by reading the text multiple times. In discussion, students support their ideas with evidence from the text. We are nationally recognized for our professional learning services that teach teachers to utilize focused questioning strategies that help students build critical thinking skills. We offer courses, customized on-site consultation, webinars, and continuing education modules. Through Great Books professional learning, educators get the consistent support they need to make the instructional shifts.
In Great Books programs, students use the thinking, listening, and speaking skills they build through Shared Inquiry discussions of complex texts as a springboard to develop writing skills to express arguments that respond to the ideas, events, and facts in the texts, as well as the ideas of their peers.
Great Books texts are widely respected for their rich language, complex content, and diverse range of authors, cultures, and voices from around the world. Our process of engagement with text through close reading ensures that students not only build their vocabulary year to year, but see their own ability to read, think, speak, listen, and write improve annually as well. Ultimately, our research demonstrates that sustained use of our program improves student achievement and prepares them for college and career readiness, in the precise ways mandated by the Common Core State Standards.












































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Register for a webinar to learn how Great Books programs will help your school meet Common Core standards.

Register for the Core Course to begin using Great Books programs and the Shared Inquiry™ method of learning.

Read "What's the Best Way to Find Nonfiction for Your Classroom?"


Download an alignment piece that details how Great Books programs meet the Common Core standards.

Download a sample unit to see how specific Great Books activities align with Common Core standards.

Download a ThinkIt™ mini-unit to see how our new nonfiction program for critical thinking practice helps meet Common Core standards.

Download the white paper "Selecting and Using Complex Texts in Great Books K–12 Programs” to learn how Great Books meets the text complexity requirements of CCSS.