The Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry program for grades 2–5 brings high-quality nonfiction and student-centered discussion to your classroom while providing a superb framework for practicing reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing. Teaching tips, support for differentiating instruction, and tools for building language arts skills make the readings and discussions as engaging and rewarding for you as they are for your students.

In Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry:

  • Students follow our inquiry-based sequence of activities for each text.
  • Students read for understanding, ask questions, reread and take notes, form ideas about an issue in the text, and support those ideas with evidence.
  • Each text is aligned with a specific Junior Great Books fiction story at the same grade level, and Text-to-Text Connection prompts allow students to compare and contrast the stories and nonfiction texts in writing or discussion.

Explore Nonfiction Inquiry Lesson Plans to Learn More

We have a variety of lesson plans that you can download now to learn more about Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry. Each one has a complete text that you and your students can read and enjoy, plus activities—from prereading through Shared Inquiry discussion and extension activities—to try in your classroom. As a special bonus, we’ve included three lesson plans from life science and physical science that you can explore in connection with Earth Day 2022!

These free lesson plans include the following engaging nonfiction texts:

  • Splash! Rustle! How Habitats Help Frogs Survive. Introduces different species of frogs and examines how each one uses elements of its habitat to protect itself from predators.
  • Crows: Friend or Foe? Describes the clever, and sometimes annoying, ways that crows use their intelligence to survive and adapt to the presence of humans.
  • Leave It to Beavers? Examines the reasons humans build dams and the researched effects dams have on ecosystems, the water cycle, and earth’s climate.