Help your students love to read by giving them the most compelling content you can find. We have the richest materials in fiction and nonfiction for your second- through fifth-graders, along with a winning method to unlock their deepest thinking: Shared Inquiry™.

Teachers who use the Shared Inquiry method adopt a questioning stance throughout each lesson, asking interpretive questions of students that yield varied answers, supported by evidence students find in the text. The result is that the exploration of each text is a collaborative activity students enjoy, and they learn as much from each other as they do from their own investigations!

Download either or both of the sample lesson plans on this page, read the texts with your students, and conduct as many of the interpretive activities as you feel comfortable leading.

The [texts are] culturally diverse and expose readers to lots of different ideas compared to the typical book pulled off the shelf in a classroom library. They have a way of grasping the readers’ attention and leaving them eager to read more.

—Jennifer Flannery
Talent Development Teacher
Charlotte Mecklenburg School District
Charlotte, NC

Junior Great Books Series 2–5 Sample Lesson Plans

This booklet features the full text for the story “The Gold Coin” by Alma Flor Ada. It also contains:

  • Features and benefits of Junior Great Books® programs
  • A unit overview with some Shared Inquiry activities from the Series 3 Teacher’s Edition
  • Information on how Junior Great Books fiction and Nonfiction Inquiry complement one another

Nonfiction Inquiry Series 2–5 Sample Lesson Plans

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. Inside this lesson plan booklet, you will find:

  • Features and benefits of the Nonfiction Inquiry program
  • Overview of the Nonfiction Inquiry activity sequence
  • Unit overview for “Small Acts Make a Big Difference,” a selection about three kids who came up with great ways to help people in their communities
  • Complete text of the selection from the student log
  • Additional teacher resources

Learn More About Junior Great Books for Grades 2–5

See how you can use both fiction and nonfiction classroom materials to improve reading comprehension, increase critical thinking skills, boost student writing, and improve speaking and listening skills in your classroom. Plus, you can see how our Shared Inquiry approach helps you make the most of our outstanding, rich, diverse reading selections. Contact your Great Books partnership manager today!