The Great Books Foundation

The Great Books Foundation


Download the FREE lesson plans for this powerful poem by Amanda Gorman and join The Great Books Foundation for a special Shared Inquiry Discussion.
Do you recommend an introductory philosophy textbook for high school students?
Let's read and discuss! Today's #BuccaneerBrainBooster is brought to you by The Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of readers of all ages through discussion of works and ideas. Check the link here for readings and other resources (organized by grade):
Many educators, public health and non-profit groups are looking for quality, no-cost educational materials to support remote learning for children. Prevent Blindness is offering the "Star Pupils" Children’s Eye Health and Safety curricula to assist and support learning in the areas of science and health.

Get the info here:

Ohio Department of Education​ WOSU Public Media Ohio Association for Gifted Children​ The Great Books Foundation
If you're looking for ways to bring oral history into the classroom, these curricula we've developed with the Chicago Public Library and The Great Books Foundation are a perfect place to start. Check them out!
THANK YOU The Great Books Foundation for being an exhibitor for this year's PAGE conference! We are excited to have your presence at our event!

The Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) PSEA - PA State Education Association
Thank you to Denise Ahlquist and The Great Books Foundation for providing a Junior Great Books training session today. Local teachers gathered to receive instruction and support in Shared Inquiry.

The Junior Great Books program combines high-quality literature, student-centered discussion, and activities that support reading comprehension, critical thinking, speaking and listening, and writing. #sharedinquiry

The Great Books Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to advance the c The Great Books Foundation achieves its mission through:

Great Books K-12 programs that transform classrooms by combining reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing, and collaborative Shared Inquiry™ discussion.

Operating as usual


We really do mean readers of ALL ages.

“I like it when I get to share my thoughts with the whole class. It makes me feel kind of happy because everyone is paying attention. It’s great because you actually get to share your thoughts and it makes you feel good. You’re being respected and everyone’s listening to you . . . and you should do the same thing to other people.”
—Spiros, First Grader, Blaine Elementary School, Chicago, IL

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Helping Readers Grapple With Challenging Texts 10/21/2022

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Helping Readers Grapple With Challenging Texts

Using Sharing Questions in the sequence of activities can reinforce the idea that it is "important for students to learn how to recognize when they don’t know the meaning of a word and it is interfering with their ability to comprehend a text." As Shanahan explains, "Rather than preteaching extensive vocabulary lists for each text, . . . Students should also learn how to figure out word meanings on their own, either through clues and close reading of the text itself or through outside tools, such as dictionaries."

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Helping Readers Grapple With Challenging Texts A nationally known reading expert's advice on helping students with complex texts.



The Great Books Foundation is celebrating its 75th anniversary! Read a little about our long history and see how we've contributed to an ongoing Great Conversation.

“Reading one great book makes reading another easier, and the more we read through the great books or in them, the easier reading them well becomes. They gradually draw us into the great conversation they have created and thereby increase our power to conduct the dialogue that must go on in our own minds whenever we are engaged in genuine learning.”
—Mortimer J. Adler


The National Council of Teachers of English has designated October 20 as the . Visit to learn how engagement in can strengthen your students' writing.


Senior Academic Consultant Denise Ahlquist presented “Intentionally Teaching and Learning to Collaborate” Monday at the Ohio Association for Gifted Children annual conference. She demonstrated how collaboration skills respond to nurturing and discussed the idea that learners arrive with great variety in their readiness to collaborate.

See how our experts can help you in your setting!

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Helping Readers Grapple With Challenging Texts 10/18/2022

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Helping Readers Grapple With Challenging Texts

"Research suggests students learn more with more difficult texts, as long as they have instructional support. For example, one 2017 study found 3rd graders who started as weak readers outscored even proficient readers when they used texts written two to four grade levels above their initial reading level as part of paired-reading exercises." brings students rich, challenging literature that engages them and gets them talking!

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Helping Readers Grapple With Challenging Texts A nationally known reading expert's advice on helping students with complex texts.


Cristina Henríquez is the author of The Book of Unknown Americans, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazon’s 10 Best Books of the Year. It was the Daily Beast Novel of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, a Target Book of the Month selection, and was chosen one of the best books of the year by BookPage,, and School Library Journal. It was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Henriquez is also the author The World In Half (a novel), and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Her forthcoming novel, The Great Cut, about the building of the Panama Canal, will be published in 2024. (



Enjoy Joseph Bruchac's wonderful story in Series 1 with your young readers!


Enjoy one today, you deserve it!


Gaby Ramirez Howard’s mother was recently deported to Honduras. Gaby finds comfort in the animals she cares for at the local animal shelter. Her volunteer job is to write adoption ads to help cats and dogs find their “forever home.” Gaby desperately wants to help her favorite shelter cat, Feather, find a home. She connects with Feather because Gaby herself is having a hard time finding a place that feels like home. @AngelaCervantes_author


Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks she has too many names. But when she learns the origins of each one, everything changes. She learns about Pura, her great-aunt who believed that ancestors are always watching over us to keep us safe. She contemplates José, her grandfather who was an artist with a big family. Her other names handed down from relatives also become meaningful. In the end, Alma realizes that she will have a story to tell about her own name someday. @juanamartinezn



Ana loves stories. She often makes them up to help her little brother fall asleep. But in her small village there are only a few books and she has read them all. One morning, Ana wakes up to the clip-clop of hooves, and there before her, is the most wonderful sight: a traveling library resting on the backs of two burros—all the books a little girl could dream of, with enough stories to encourage her to create one of her own.


If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Learning 10/12/2022

If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Learning

"These problems should be just beyond students’ reach—they’re designed in ways that will activate prior knowledge and motivate students, clarifying what they know and what they don’t know. If the challenge hits that sweet spot, that’s where deep learning happens."

Our take: In , students are not expected to "know" the answers to the questions. By asking engaging questions, teachers can hit that sweet spot.

If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Learning The learning scientist Manu Kapur, architect of the theory of productive failure, on reframing our notion of failure, and letting kids stumble (but with purpose).



When Abuela first comes to live with her granddaughter Mia and her family, they have trouble communicating. Mia and Abuela realize that they each need to learn each other’s language to converse. As they cook together, Mia teaches her grandmother some English and Mia learns some Spanish. Then one day, when they are in the pet store, Mia sees a parrot in the window and has an excellent ides—the bird can help them all communicate better. @megmedinabooks


When Miguel’s parents get divorced, he moves to Vermont with his mother and little sister. Miguel navigates two cultures and reflects on what it means to be Latino and a child of immigrants. Then, his aunt, Tía Lola, comes from the Dominican Republic to help take care of them. Miguel’s life becomes even more interesting with her around.


The celebrating of an took root in 1977 at an international conference on discrimination sponsored by the United Nations. It's grown as a day to honor peoples and commemorates their histories and .


We remember Victor Klemperer on his birthday (in 1881). The German diarist wrote about life under a succession of political regimes, including the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the German Democratic Republic. Read a powerful selection from "I Will Bear Witness" in our anthology Citizens of the World.


Claire Messud is the author of a number of notable books, including "The Emperor's Children," which was a New York Times bestseller and was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.


Somehow, remembering on the day he died seems appropriate. Read his classic "The Fall of the House of Usher" in Great Conversations 2 and discuss it, along with other thought-provoking literary works, with your friends.


At his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico (


Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free (

Timeline photos 10/04/2022

In Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites), Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people….In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. (

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School's out and that means plenty of time for snuggles with momma while reading your favorite book!  —Sarah Friedland (...
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It seems that every time I go on vacation there is a photo of a book that I am reading.This picture was taken last year ...
When was the last time you explored a flower field and where? #NationalGardeningDay
New Junior Great Books K-1 Program





233 N. Michigan, Suite 420
Chicago, IL

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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