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
Short Stories section in Jacob's Ladder, Secondary (Years 7-8) includes
works by famous authors, many classics, among them stories by Anton Chekhov,
Mark Twain and O. Henry. Poetry is drawn from selections by well-known poets,
including Shakespeare, Yeats, William Blake and Emily Dickinson. The four works
in the Biographies section give details of the lives of Erwin Schrödinger,
Margaret Bourke-White, Itzhak Perlman and Amartya Sen.
for students in years 7-8 to enhance reading comprehension and critical
thinking, Jacob's Ladder Secondary (Years 7-8) tasks are organised into
six skill ladders: A-F. 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.