Jacob's Ladder is a reading comprehension program for gifted students that spans from early primary to early secondary instruction. Students progress through an inquiry process based on targeted reading passages that emphasise the progressive, ongoing development of higher-order thinking skills that are relevant across the curriculum. This field-tested method of moving from basic understanding to critical analysis of text was developed by the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary.
Each book in the Jacob's Ladder Gifted Reading Comprehension Program comprehensively engages with the Language, Literature and Literacy strands of the Australian Curriculum: English, as well as touching upon aspects of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics and Science instruction in nonfiction passages across the series. Through completing the activities in Jacob's Ladder students will learn to comprehend and analyse any reading passage, and demonstrate improvement in reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, as well as an increased interest in reading.
The first section of this book includes Fables, Myths, Short Stories and Essays, some written by students in similar year levels to those reading this book. The Poetry selections include works by students, as well as pieces by well-known poets. Nonfiction selections touch on the areas of Biology and Mathematics. This book is suggested for students in years 5 and 6 to enhance reading comprehension and critical thinking.
Jacob's Ladder Primary (Years 5-6) tasks are organised into four skill ladders: A-D. Each ladder focuses on a different skill. Students "climb" each ladder by answering lower-level questions before moving to higher-level questions or rungs at the top of each ladder. Each ladder stands alone and focuses on a separate critical thinking component in reading.