Danielle Gladstone

It’s a great time to look at what Junior Great Books® has to offer teachers and students. Teachers and administrators love the quality literature we collect for students at every grade level. The stories, poems, and nonfiction texts we select for Junior Great Books anthologies are original and engaging.

Students are excited to delve into our texts, so much so that one teacher, Danielle Gladstone of District 163 in Park Forest-Chicago Heights, IL, recently commented:

I couldn’t wait for the day when we would read “Charles” for the first time. I would position myself in the classroom so that I could see all their faces at the same time when the ending of the story was revealed and the students figured out who Laurie really was. Their expressions were priceless and so fun to see as a teacher. They were instantly hooked!

Students and teachers across the United States and in at least 15 other countries are energized by the high-quality literature and engaging, inquiry-driven, interpretive activities we offer. When reading is fun, kids are more likely to ask questions, offer opinions backed up by evidence in the text, and listen to one another’s interpretations.

We invite you to download any and all of our sample lesson plans for grades K–8, including those for Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry (available for grades 2–5). Read these stories with your students for a taste of what we have to offer!

Danielle Gladstone

Junior Great Books Series K and 1

These series for kindergarten and first grade are interactive read-aloud programs focused on helping young learners develop three key Shared Inquiry skills—listening, wondering, and sharing. They provide the literature, challenge, and critical thinking elements essential for “best practice” early literacy instruction. This booklet contains two texts for you and your students to explore:

  • “Those Shoes,” a story by Maribeth Boelts
  • “The Land of Nod,” a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

Junior Great Books Series 2–5

Junior Great Books programs combine high-quality literature, student-centered discussion, and activities that support reading comprehension, critical thinking, speaking and listening, and writing. Download this booklet to find the complete text and activities for “The Gold Coin” by Alma Flor Ada.

Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry for Grades 2–5

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. Download this booklet to see the unit overview, complete activities, and text for “Small Acts Make a Big Difference,” an engaging selection that describes the ways people in communities work together and profiles three different children who work to improve their communities.

Junior Great Books Series 6–8

This series for middle school, first published in 2020, includes:

  • High-quality texts in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: 10 stories, 8 nonfiction texts, and 2 poems at each grade level
  • In-depth reading, critical thinking, and writing activities
  • Note-taking options focused on author’s craft
  • Differentiated instruction for every core activity
  • Formal and informal assessment options
  • Teacher support and online resources

Download the sample lesson plans today and see the complete activities and texts for one nonfiction selection, “Friends of the Hide” by Timothy Egan, and the poem “At work with my father” by Eve L. Ewing!

6-8 Junior Great Books Sample Lesson Plans

Begin Your Junior Great Books Journey

Would you like to bring engaging, high-quality literature to your classrooms? Are you interested in having students drive discussion with their interpretations of what the class reads together? We have the classroom materials to make it possible, as well as highly renowned professional development to make you and the educators you work with into inquiry-learning experts. Please get in touch with your Great Books K–12 partnership manager to begin today!