ELA teachers need to help their students reach myriad standards nationwide. Here are 10 key standards that almost all state and district-level documents call for educators to address. Students who participate in Junior Great Books® develop these key skills that are critical not only in English language arts but across the curriculum.

A teacher leans against a bookshelf and smiles while meeting ELA standards using Junior Great Books

ELA Standards


  1. Read closely, determine what a text says explicitly, make logical inferences, cite specific textual evidence, and support conclusions.
  2. Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
  3. Interpret words and phrases in a text.
  4. Evaluate an argument, the validity of the reasoning, and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Speaking and Listening

  1. Participate in conversations and collaborations.
  2. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence.
  3. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence; follow a line of reasoning.


  1. Write arguments to support claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  2. Produce clear and coherent writing.


  1. Understand figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning.

Junior Great Books

“Students are able to think more deeply about what they read, pushing themselves to be analytical and to justify their thinking with evidence from the text.”

—Joy Purcell, Second-Grade Teacher
Aurora Quest School, CO

Students have gained confidence in sharing their ideas with explanations. They also communicate respectfully and have come to understand that different ideas and opinions are acceptable!”

—Heidi Murray, CLF Teacher
Washington County School District, UT

“The Shared Inquiry process is the best. It helps students learn how to have discussions with each other. Teachers learn that they are just the facilitator, there to pose questions and keep the conversation flowing.”

—Kristen Modes, Instructional Specialist in Gifted Education
Charles County Public Schools, MD

“I am such a believer and endorser of Great Books and Shared Inquiry! You are creating a frame on which students can support their thinking, talking, and writing skills for life!

—Amy Keir, Teaching and Learning Coordinator
Elyria City Schools, OH

“This is a research-based product that has proven to advance students in their way of thinking and in their understanding of author’s purpose.”

—Ann Taylor, Content Specialist for Gifted and Differentiated Services
Charles County Public Schools, MD

Find out how you can use Junior Great Books in your classroom to help students read for deeper comprehension, increase their critical thinking skills, discuss engaging texts collaboratively with peers, synthesize their ideas in writing, and more. Contact your Great Books Foundation educational consultant today!