Shared Inquiry™ empowers teachers to use interpretive, evaluative, and factual questions to help students dig deeper into whatever they are reading so they can express themselves, listen to others, and synthesize new ideas from the input they receive. Our Shared Inquiry training prepares teachers to use Junior Great Books® in the classroom so students can improve their:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Critical thinking
  • Speaking and listening
  • Writing
  • Collaborative learning

The techniques and strategies teachers learn in Shared Inquiry training improve overall learning not only in English language arts but across the curriculum.

If you are a trained Shared Inquiry leader, consider honing your skills through the intermediate and advanced courses listed below. If you are new to inquiry-based teaching, see the introductory-level options!

“I work with a team within my district that provides professional development, so we are highly scrutinizing of it. With Junior Great Books, we want to have somebody that’s the expert come in to work with our teachers to give credence to the scientific basis of the program and to make sure that it’s done in the manner in which it was designed. The professional development that we have had from Great Books has always been top-notch.”

—Amy Keir, K–12 Teaching and Learning Coordinator
Elyria City School District, Elyria, OH

Introductory Training

Shared Inquiry Essentials Online Training

March 2–4, 2022 • 3:00–5:00 p.m. central time • Register
March 28–30, 2022 • 10:00 a.m.–noon central time • Register

This course prepares you to begin using our Shared Inquiry method of learning through reading and discussion with students at all levels. Teachers who complete the course are qualified to implement Junior Great Books in their classrooms.

Course participants will learn questioning strategies that keep discussions lively and focused and that improve students’ reading, critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills. You will also practice writing interpretive questions and using follow-up questions to involve students of all ages and proficiency levels. See how our interpretive activities support student learning and meet state and district standards.

Intermediate and Advanced Training

The Power of Student Questions

March 4, 2022 • 10:00 a.m.–noon central time • Register

This intermediate-level course will help you teach students how to pose better questions, identify different kinds of questions, and focus on the questions that will best help them build their understanding of the selection. You will learn how to stimulate students’ initial curiosity about a specific text and guide them to become active partners in inquiry. The process begins with the sharing questions activity and can lead to students helping to choose effective questions for Shared Inquiry™ discussion and for expository writing or research after discussion.

After this course, you will be able to:

  • Help students express their initial reactions to a text in the form of questions
  • Teach students how to recognize different kinds of questions
  • Use the power of students’ questions to engage the class in exploring answers and sharing their ideas, both during discussion and in writing

Shared Inquiry Advanced Review

March 3, 2022 • 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. central time • Register

This course provides participants with a review of the essential elements of a Shared Inquiry discussion and the Great Books interpretive reading activities that enable students at all levels to participate successfully. Through active engagement in an instructor-led demonstration and/or video of students in discussion, teachers will solidify their understanding of their role as leader, as well as of how Shared Inquiry connects to state and district standards and improves students’ reading, critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills.

Interpretive Thinking for Grades K–1

March 30, 2022 • 3:00–5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This course will help you introduce the basic principles of Shared Inquiry—listening, wondering, and sharing—to students in the primary grades. Learn to provide the challenge and critical thinking elements every balanced literacy program needs, and achieve realistic goals such as helping young students listen to a story, ask relevant questions, make sensible comments about it, and learn to provide reasons for their ideas. You will explore ways to use simple forms of discussion, drama, drawing, and writing to help students connect with a story and to begin their interpretive thinking about it.

After this course, you will be able to:

  • Help students in grades K–1 begin to respond interpretively to a story
  • Engage students in listening, asking questions, and sharing ideas with their classmates
  • Use the Junior Great Books Series K–1 program to engage all students in higher literacy and inquiry
  • Plan a Shared Inquiry unit with strategies and activities tailored to your students’ needs

Implementing Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry

March 28, 2022 • 3:00–5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This two-hour live webinar introduces the Shared Inquiry method of reading and discussion and prepares participants to use Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry materials effectively in the classroom.

This interactive, hands-on workshop includes:

  • A demonstration of Nonfiction Inquiry reading strategies and discussion
  • A reflection on the elements and benefits of the Shared Inquiry activity sequence
  • An introduction to and practice with using follow-up questions to deepen students’ thinking about texts
  • Time for questions about implementation and troubleshooting

Participants will receive a PDF highlighting key strategies and will be ready to implement JGB Nonfiction Inquiry in their classrooms.

Consultation Days and Custom Options

Our trainers can meet with your team to provide coaching, modeling, or feedback. Now is a great time of year to check in with your Great Books trainer to build the strength of your Junior Great Books program! Choose one or multiple days when our trainers will consult with your teachers to offer support where it is most needed.

We can also help you develop your own inquiry-based curriculum for English language arts or other subject areas. Please select your state or area below to get in touch with your Great Books educational consultant and arrange these options!