Junior Great Books® Series K and 1 are interactive read-aloud programs focused on helping young learners develop three key Shared Inquiry™ skills—listening, wondering, and sharing. These flexible programs provide the literature, challenge, and critical thinking elements essential for best practice early literacy instruction. The softcover student books feature outstanding literature in a variety of genres: folktale, fantasy fiction, realistic fiction, and poetry. Beautiful and original illustrations engage students and support both comprehension and interpretation.

Download the sample lesson plans on this page and read “Those Shoes,” a story by Maribeth Boelts, and “The Land of Nod,” a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, with your students. Try some of the engaging interpretive activities, and see how your students enjoy sharing their thoughts about rich, engaging literature!

Inside this booklet, you will find:

  • The features and benefits of Junior Great Books Series K and 1 programs
  • A unit overview and activities for “Those Shoes” and “The Land of Nod” from Series 1
  • Complete text of “Those Shoes” and “The Land of Nod,” both as annotated in the Teacher’s Edition
  • Assessment and reflection options

These exciting programs:

  • Develop oral language skills through peer-to-peer conversation, question asking, extended discussion, and vocabulary activities
  • Provide relatable, thought-provoking content that promotes higher-order discussion among students and teachers
  • Include activities in which students express their ideas about literature through drawing, writing, movement, and dramatic play
  • Provide opportunities for collaborative reading and writing, as well as individual thinking and writing
  • Engage children in using comprehension strategies, such as questioning, visualizing, rereading, drawing inferences, and finding evidence
  • Include formative assessment that prioritizes observation and relates to differentiation suggestions
  • Use research-informed practices that foster literacy motivation and engagement

A first-grader shares his thoughts on why Junior Great Books is rewarding for him.

Get Started Today

You can engage your youngest readers with literature in the most meaningful ways through Junior Great Books and the Shared Inquiry method. Learn about classroom materials and all of our professional development options, including On-Demand Shared Inquiry Essentials training, by talking with your K–12 partnership manager!