"Junior Great Books" Literacy Program

An integral part of our language curriculum in Lower Elementary is a literacy program called Junior Great Books. This program provides our students many opportunities to interact with thought-provoking stories as they develop their reading, writing, oral communication, and critical thinking skills.

Each piece of literature engages the students through multiple sessions in order to teach and reinforce through different methods. The progression of study includes the following activities:
  • Listening to the story being read aloud by one of the guides, then writing initial questions or reflections on a flip chart.
  • Listening to the story a second time, followed by open discussion and a written reflection assignment.
  • Completing activities that help students understand vocabulary or text.
  • Participating in a shared inquiry conversation where students openly discuss their interpretations of the text.
  • Often, there is an art activity which allows the students to translate their reflections through images.
  • Finally, students document their thoughts from the shared inquiry conversation and other activities.
Through Junior Great Books, students practice many reading, writing, speaking, and cognitive skills, including: recalling and organizing details from the story, drawing inferences, analyzing characters' motives, and finding the main idea of a passage or the text as a whole. Writing activities are included to help students communicate and develop their ideas.