Unleash the Power of Themes

To help you make the most of your students’ learning experience, Junior Great Books® Series 2-5 stories are now organized around key, age-appropriate social and emotional themes. This thematic organization provides a number of benefits for both teachers and students.

JGB2-5Meaningful connections

Themes provide meaningful connections between stories. They help you unify your lessons by allowing you to link content areas, organize resources, systematically reinforce what students need to know, and focus on defined activities.

Social and emotional development

Reading about complex characters who grapple with developing kindness, honesty, communication, integrity, and other qualities helps your students reflect on, and improve, these qualities in themselves. Discussing theme-related questions develops students’ self-awareness and empathy, which are both important for positive conflict resolution.

Deeper learning and critical thinking

You can use our theme activities to prompt students to compare and connect texts and ideas, deepening their learning and critical thinking. Each story’s Theme Introduction question sets the stage for thinking about a big idea across texts. Our Theme Wrap-Up activities help your students evaluate and synthesize their thinking about the theme question. The Story-to-Story Connection activities encourage your students to consider how the theme plays out in at least two
stories—helping them learn to connect ideas from different texts.

Cross-curricular integration

Our themes complement and easily integrate with those used by other publishers.

Themes in Junior Great Books Series 2–5

Series 2, Book One

  • Friendship
  • Responsiblity
  • Bravery

Series 3, Book One

  • Relationships
  • Kindness
  • Confidence

Series 4, Book One

  • Trust
  • Resourcefulness
  • Communication

Series 5, Book One

  • Honesty
  • Self-Respect
  • Fitting In

Series 2, Book Two

  • Generosity
  • Community
  • Being Yourself

Series 3, Book Two

  • Gratitude
  • Courage
  • Cleverness

Series 4, Book Two

  • Strength
  • Integrity
  • Perspective

Series 5, Book Two

  • Family
  • Humility
  • Compassion
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