SOURCE: The Great Books Foundation

The Great Books Foundation

January 19, 2010 14:37 ET

Great Books Foundation Unveils New Middle School Language Arts Program

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - January 19, 2010) - The Great Books Foundation, an independent nonprofit educational organization, announced today the publication of its innovative new middle school reading and language arts program: Great Books Roundtable™. The Roundtable program is designed for students in grades 6-8 and combines the proven Great Books Shared Inquiry™ method of learning with high-quality literature. The program's student-centered discussion model helps middle school students develop essential literacy and life skills as they learn to read carefully, think critically, listen intently, and speak and write persuasively.

"We're thrilled to enhance Great Books K-12 with our new Roundtable program, designed particularly for middle school students," said George Schueppert, president of the Great Books Foundation. "We've found that middle school students at every reading level can truly embrace this program because of its flexibility and differentiation options. The program is invaluable because it teaches young people to collaborate with one another through discussion and help each other understand and interpret challenging and thought-provoking works of literature."

At the heart of the Roundtable program are engaging student anthologies featuring twelve works of fiction, two works of nonfiction, and six poems, all by award-winning authors and all selected for their interpretive potential. Beautifully rendered original artwork complements the selections, providing visual interest. In addition to the student anthologies, the Roundtable program features a host of instructional tools for teachers, including:

--  A Leader's Edition that provides resources and support materials for
    each selection, including prompts for all activities, suggested vocabulary
    words, and annotated student anthology pages
--  Audio CDs with professionally recorded versions of the selections
--  Activity Instruction Cards that provide activity summaries, student
    learning objectives, step-by-step instructions, and support and challenge
    activities to differentiate instruction
--  A CD-ROM with additional teaching tools and activities including
    expository and creative writing activities, writing process handouts,
    assessment rubrics, multiple choice tests for each selection, and guidance
    for portfolio assessments
--  A Road Map that shows teachers how to customize the program and how
    to meet instructional objectives

"The Roundtable program works so well in my classroom because all of the stories seem to bring out something about human nature that speaks to the heart of my middle school students," said Rick Rizzo, a seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher who piloted the program at Albany Park Multicultural Academy in Chicago. "There's a challenge element to this program that is unique. It raises the bar for students and gets them involved in literature in ways they never expected."

For more information about Roundtable or to order a free sample unit, call the Great Books Foundation at 800-222-5870 or visit

About the Great Books Foundation

The Great Books Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization that empowers readers of all ages to become more reflective and responsible thinkers. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation ( was established in 1947 to promote liberal education for the general public. In 1962, the Foundation extended its mission to children with the introduction of Junior Great Books®. Today, the Foundation conducts professional development courses for thousands of educators each year, publishes books for readers of all ages, and helps readers establish their own discussion groups in schools, libraries, and community centers.

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