Junior Great Books

Designed around the Shared Inquiry™ method, our Junior Great Books programs comprise curated anthologies of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, and poetry designed to:

  • Inspire students to explore essential ideas
  • Teach students to learn to read and think critically
  • Equip teachers to lead engaging, inquiry-focused explorations of challenging texts
  • Build communities of lifelong learners and informed citizens

Professional Development

Our professional development courses and programs help educators learn, practice, and continuously improve their use of the Shared Inquiry™ method of teaching and learning by:

  • Providing educators with hands-on workshops and training sessions
  • Offering continuous support to refine instructional strategies
  • Encouraging collaboration and idea-sharing among teachers
  • Utilizing evidence-based practices to enhance teaching effectiveness

We Help Educators
Build Collaborative and Engaged Classrooms

“Junior Great Books. . . is exactly what prepares students to go to the university, the workplace, anywhere, and have intelligent , passionate, appropriate conversations.”

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“All of the rules of Shared Inquiry are applicable not only to when we’re reading Junior Great Books stories, but for any other whole-group activity. So we have kind of adopted the Shared Inquiry approach to most of the things that we do in class.”

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“Junior Great Books selections are actual stories from cultures all over the world. We love that we are constantly sharing different diverse authors from different countries, as well as experiencing lots of different types of texts, from nonfiction to fiction to poetry.”

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Our Mission

We believe that literacy and critical thinking help form reflective, knowledgeable citizens equipped to participate constructively in a democratic society. The mission of the Great Books Foundation is to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of people of all ages through Shared Inquiry™ discussion of works and ideas of enduring value

Who We Are

For over 75 years, the Great Books Foundation has trained thousands of educators and serviced millions of students. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit best known for founding Junior Great Books® and the Shared Inquiry method of teaching and learning. Junior Great Books programs comprise carefully curated anthologies of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that students explore collaboratively with their peers and the teacher through Shared Inquiry, boosting all the basic language arts skills as they do so.

JUNIOR GREAT BOOKS

Join the Conversation

New!
Earn Shared Inquiry Badges with Great Books Training

We want to recognize your expertise in Shared Inquiry™ and make it simpler to share your achievements with others. The Great Books Foundation now issues a Shared Inquiry Leader digital badge to participants who complete the Shared Inquiry Essentials course.
Advanced badges are issued to educators who complete additional courses.

Shared Inquiry Leader Certificates

What People Are Saying

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The Great Books Blog

Learn more about us!

Felicia Messina-D'Haiti

Junior Great Books Sparks Creativity and Communication

Felicia Messina-D’Haiti, the Manager of Academic Enrichment Programs for Washington, D.C. Public Schools, believes Junior Great Books® programs to be the “jumping off point” for students’ creativity. Messina-D’Haiti began teaching in DCPS in 2012, which is when she was first introduced to Junior Great Books and the Shared Inquiry™ method of teaching and learning.

Danielle Gladstone

Junior Great Books in Park Forest–Chicago Heights, Illinois

Danielle Gladstone, instructional coach at Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163, has been in education for 25 years. She holds a master’s in education administration and reading. She has dedicated many years to gifted education and won Economic Educator of the Year in 2016. Danielle was introduced to Junior GreatContinue reading

Celebrate Poetry Month with Junior Great Books

Celebrate April by Investigating Poetry Lesson Plans for Different Grade Levels

We have gathered a variety of lesson plans suitable for different grade levels to help you explore poetry with your students during Poetry Month. Each set of lesson plans has the full text of the poem or links to a reading or transcript, as well as Shared Inquiry™ activities appropriateContinue reading