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Literature & Thought

Unit Studies for Critical Thinking, Reading & Writing

Literature & Thought provides a wealth of opportunities for students to develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills through the close reading of complex texts. With unparalleled flexibility to meet today’s curriculum needs, the program is designed to engage students and promote active discourse. Implement in print or with our new digital interactive editions.

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The Literature & Thought Difference

Easy to Use!

All the work is done for you! Implement rich thematic units with a minimal amount of preparation time.


Students have a clear purpose for reading, guided by the critical thinking question for each cluster of selections.

Flexible Implementation

Pacing suggestions for two to six weeks or a longer unit when paired with a suggested novel. Perfect for inquiry-based curriculum, complementing novel studies, or refreshing literature selections.


Develop Critical Readers & Writers

Each of the 25 anthologies poses an essential question to guide reading, writing, and discussion. Each unit within an anthology focuses on a critical thinking skill. Through a cluster of related readings, students learn to

  • apply close reading skills, reading deeply for meaning
  • compare and contrast texts
  • engage in active discourse
  • learn and apply specific critical thinking, analytical, and evaluation skills
  • respond and share ideas through writing, speaking, and listening activities

Engage in Active Discourse

Discussion guides assist teachers in engaging students in sharing ideas and evidence with the whole class, a small group, or in peer conversations.

Students develop communication and literacy skills as they collaborate to uncover meaning; gain new perspectives; and respond through discussion, writing, and a range of media.

Enhance Collaborative Learning

Designed for collaborative learning, Literature & Thought interactive editions provide a powerful tool set for delving into a writer’s work.

  • identify textual evidence through sophisticated annotation and highlighting tools.
  • collect evidence, ideas, and questions during annotation and highlighting using the digital notebook.
  • enhance discussions using the digital discussion wall.
  • encourage critical conversations using the point-of-use digital teaching support.
  • review and compare students’ annotations and notes; share with the class or a small group.

Support ALL Learners

Literature & Thought Interactive editions feature state-of-the art assistive technology including

  • translation into over 60 languages!
  • text-to-speech for each language
  • in-line tools support readers of differing abilities—including dyslexia, ADHD, autism, and cerebral palsy
    —highlighting lines of text
    —changing colors and fonts
    —visualizing word meanings through illustrations, syllabification, and parts of speech

Robust Teaching Support

Whether implementing Literature & Thought in print, digital, or a blended model, all teachers have access to the digital support tools, including

Lesson Planning

Plan and manage implementation over two to six weeks using lesson plans and pacing guides.

  • Create context using introductory essays, visuals, concept vocabulary and timelines.
  • Help students identify their own positions and ideas prior to reading using the Anticipation Guide.
  • Incorporate text sets into the unit using a range of literature at a variety of reading levels.

Instructional Support

  • interactive minilessons for critical thinking skills, reading skills/strategies, and textual analysis
  • writing expectations and rubrics
  • support for analyzing photos, art, and other media
  • suggestions, prompts, and strategies for engaging students in collaborative learning using the Teacher Edition and the Great Books Discussion Guide
  • assessment options including vocabulary tests, writing activities, and longer project suggestions

Historical Events & Eras

Literary Themes

Literary Genres

Government & Current Events



Lexile Levels

Research Notes