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Junior Great Books

What is Junior Great Books?

Junior Great Books is a strong, inquiry-based language arts program that refines and extends students’ skills in reading, thinking, and communicating. The program is a model of student-centered learning in which students work with complex ideas and rigorous texts. The program uses well-crafted, multicultural reading selections that are rich in ideas and invite a number of interpretations. Through consistent use of the program students develop their reading and thinking skills by asking questions, formulating and sharing their opinions, and supporting their ideas with evidence from the selections they read.

How Does it Support the Curriculum?

The Junior Great Books inquiry model of questioning, discussion, and writing supports the Maryland essential learnings for reading and writing. Shared Inquiry training combined with Junior Great Books literature and interpretive activities support teachers in the implementation of the MCPS English/Language Arts Curriculum, K-8.

Shared Inquiry reading, discussion, and writing activities may be used with a wide range of literature to encourage students to use high level thinking processes as they explore curricular themes.

Staff Trainings

Additional Resources

Alignment Charts (PDF) provide guidance in aligning Junior Great Books stories with lessons in the MCPS Reading, Writing, Language Arts instructional guides. Teachers may select different Junior Great Books stories beyond the ones suggested to address students' interests and needs.

JGB Glossaries:

Recognition of the Junior Great Books Program

The Junior Great Books Program has been widely recognized for improving student achievement. Organizations that have recognized Great Books classroom programs and professional development include:

  • National Staff Development Council
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Panel for Comprehensive School Reform
  • Texas Center for Educational Research
  • California Department of Education