If you really want to engage your students in discussion, offer texts about events that are happening right now. Junior Great Books® Nonfiction Inquiry has several selections that fit this criterion, including texts on weather, listed in the table below, that are particularly poignant in light of recent Hurricanes Ian and Fiona.

You can download sample lesson plans for “Storm Trackers Save Lives” and “Small Acts Make a Big Difference” directly from this page. We encourage you to:

  • Conduct the prereading activity, asking students key questions that prepare them for the text they are about to read.
  • Read the selection aloud to students. Then, open the floor for a sharing questions activity to see what confused students most and what interested students most.
  • Continue with a second reading and Shared Inquiry™ discussion, if you have some experience with Junior Great Books. Question prompts for both of these activities are included in the sample lesson plans.

Selection Description Grade Level
Storm Trackers Save Lives In this unit, you’ll read about big storms called hurricanes and some different jobs at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. 2
Small Acts Make a Big Difference Students read about three kids who created great ways to help people in their communities. 3
Weather Watchers Students read about how we predict weather today and how people in the past watched animals to predict weather. 3
Out-of-This-World Weather Students read about the surprising weather on four planets in our solar system. 5

Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry, for students in grades 2–5, is full of interesting selections that students love to investigate and discuss. All Nonfiction Inquiry Teacher’s Editions, as well as the sample lesson plans, include tables showing the content area and focus for each text. They also include Text-to-Text Connection prompts that allow students to compare and contrast a related text from the corresponding Junior Great Books fiction series.

Get Started Today

If you’d like to engage your students in discussions and activities about thought-provoking nonfiction texts that explore contemporary and historical issues—and align with national social studies and science standards—take a look at Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry! Schedule a quick meeting with your K–12 partnership manager to discuss the materials and Shared Inquiry training you’ll need to bring this exciting program to your classroom.