The Junior Great Books Virtual Academy™ will use the novel A Wrinkle in Time to engage middle-grade readers in expanding their critical thinking and collaborative learning abilities through Shared Inquiry™. These highly interactive sessions will emphasize interpreting and analyzing a rich text; responding to higher-level, open-ended questions; and considering different perspectives. Together, the group will engage in a joyful exploration of the novel by reading, speaking, listening, and journaling as they develop and share their own ideas. Expert Great Books discussion leaders will guide readers to think deeply about the complex themes of this novel while having fun.
The course consists of four weekly sessions; each session is 60 minutes in length. After reading and journaling independently, the group will virtually engage in Shared Inquiry activities for a section of the novel, including:
- Close reading and analysis of A Wrinkle in Time
- Developing and supporting their own interpretation of the novel
- Sharing questions and insights from independent inquiry
- Collaborative Shared Inquiry discussion
- Considering and responding to different perspectives
- Reflecting on the process and how one’s thinking changes
The program will require readers to read three chapters of the novel before each session and to keep a reader reflection journal. If additional advance work is needed, instructors will give full instructions through email. We recommend that each student log in on their own device with enabled video, a headset or earbuds, and a microphone for the best audio connection. There are a limited number of spaces available!
Recommended text for the session: ISBN: 978-0-312-36754-1; Square Fish; reprint edition (May 1, 2007), paperback edition
Participants will be asked to work closely with the text, which having common page numbers facilitates. Please use this edition if possible. (Audiobook versions are not recommended, except as a support to supplement a print or ebook.)
Required: A designated notebook (or other way of keeping journal entries all in one place) is highly recommended, but if preferred, an online journal can be created.
- Pen and/or pencil; colored pencils if the reader wishes to illustrate their journal
- Sticky notes or bookmarks
Advance preparation: Readers will be asked to read three chapters of the book and make entries in their reader reflection journals in preparation for each session. The leader of the group may also incorporate other short, text-based activities, in which case they will email detailed instructions. Estimated time for reading and advance preparation for each session is 60–90 minutes.
Each session will be customized to readers’ interests, always including:
- Sharing of reader questions and individual explorations
- Shared Inquiry discussion