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Young Readers' Series

Open to: Grades 2 - 3 and Grades 4 - 6 (Older students should consider courses in the Young Adult Readers' Series for Grades 7-9).
Prerequisites: Students with qualifying CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level verbal scores are eligible to enroll in all courses for which they meet the grade prerequisites; Students with qualifying CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level verbal and/or math scores are eligible to enroll in Good Dogs, Wild Things, Robot Encounters, The Space Race, and In Search Of as long as they meet the grade prerequisites.
Note: While students enrolled in these four courses are not required to be verbal qualifiers, they must be proficient readers and writers of English to gain value from the course. Optional, free, self-graded readiness assessments are available as links on the course description pages.

Length: 10 weeks (Early Fall, Late Fall, Winter, Spring) or 12 weeks (Early Summer, Mid-Summer). Visit the Academic Calendar for session dates and deadlines.

The Young Readers' Series is designed to enhance a student's critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. Developed for enrichment, course assignments meet or surpass the Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading. As students participate in written discussion forums, they make inferences, determine motivations, evaluate arguments, and provide textual evidence to support their opinions. Creative writing assignments encourage students to take on different points of view, summarize details, compare authors, and discuss central ideas. In several courses, students work with both fiction and nonfiction material. Books entice gifted students to go beyond simple comprehension and engage in higher level thinking about issues ranging from the ethics of time travel to the dangers of subliminal advertising. Good Dogs, Robot Encounters, Wild Things, In Search Of, and The Space Race, also include short related videos and encourage students to create multimedia content using web 2.0 tools such as VoiceThread and other online slideshows, bulletin boards, and more.

There are separate courses for grades 2 and 3 students reading at a 5th grade level and above and for grades 4-6 students reading at a middle school level and above.

In all Young Readers' Series courses, students:

  • Read three or four thematically connected, age-appropriate books of increasing difficulty
  • Participate in online written discussions with gifted classmates from Boston to Beijing
  • Post creative writing assignments such as dialogues, newspaper articles, stories, limericks, and talk shows with characters as guests
  • Learn sophisticated vocabulary words and literary devices with the help of online games and puzzles
  • Receive individualized written feedback from their instructor about each lesson's work

Parents Ask...

  • Work is posted in the virtual classrooms at the student’s convenience as long as each lesson's deadlines are met.
  • It does not matter whether a student has already read one or all of the books before the course begins because the emphasis on citing the text requires careful re-reading.
  • Students must already be proficient in Standard Written English (Instructors in critical reading courses discuss grammar only when it affects meaning).
  • These critical reading courses are designed to be ungraded, enrichment courses; instead of a grade, instructors provide specific feedback about each student's work at the end of each lesson and a detailed final evaluation at the end of the course. Parents or guardians may request a final grade if needed for school credit.

Parents are encouraged to review the books before deciding on the course that would be most interesting and appropriate for their child. For more details about a particular course, visit the individual course description linked below.

Current Courses for Young Readers' Series for Grade 2 and 3:

For CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level verbal and/or math qualifiers: 
Good Dogs
Wild Things
Robot Encounters

For CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level verbal qualifiers:
Dragon Tales
Mystery Stories

Current Courses for Young Readers' Series for Grades 4-6:

For CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level verbal and/or math qualifiers:
In Search Of
The Space Race – Nonfiction

For CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level verbal qualifiers:
Ancient Egypt Rediscovered (Nonfiction and Fiction)
Greek Myths Revisited
Magical Life Lessons
Quest and Challenges

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