Great Books Roundtable for Grades 6–8

The Great Books Roundtable program focuses on outstanding literature and the Shared Inquiry method of interpretive reading and discussion. The Shared Inquiry approach to learning helps students work together to read closely and interpret a complex text, guided by the curiosity and open-ended questioning of a leader. Roundtable provides the superb framework and support teachers need for developing the reading comprehension, critical thinking, vocabulary, and writing skills of students with diverse abilities, needs, and learning styles.

In our Great Books Roundtable program, students:

  • Build a collaborative, discussion-based classroom culture
  • Strengthen critical thinking skills
  • Develop transferable reading, note-taking, and questioning strategies
  • Develop cognitive, social, and emotional intelligences


  • Enable students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • Fully integrate the reading and writing process
  • Build questioning and discussion-leading skills
  • Use a curriculum that is aligned to national ELA standards

Literature & Thought for Grades 6–12

Bring the power of critical thinking to your classroom discussions on government, citizenship, civics, and US history with selected titles from the Literature & Thought series, which features corresponding Great Books discussion guides and teacher guides. Grouped by theme, genre, and historical era, these selections allow teachers to create their own literature program, supplement any basal program, or integrate literature with history, social studies, or science.

Literature & Thought student, teacher, and discussion guides feature:

  • High-quality literature, literary nonfiction, and content-rich informational texts
  • Essential questions that help develop critical thinking skills
  • Overview of close reading and the Shared Inquiry discussion approach
  • Strategies for initial reading, second reading, and close reading
  • Discussion questions for key selections
  • Planning guides and thinking skills instruction

Using Powerful Questions to Enhance Guided Reading

Using powerful questions in your guided reading discussions helps students build their critical thinking skills and develop their listening and speaking skills across the curriculum. This invaluable resource provides ideas, activities, and practical guidance on:

  • Selecting texts
  • Preparing questions
  • Asking spontaneous questions
  • Encouraging and using students’ questions
  • Extending understanding and increasing comprehension