How Jacob’s Ladder Works

How Jacob's Ladder Works

Jacob’s Ladder is a reading comprehension program for gifted students. Students progress through an inquiry process based on targeted reading passages from varied sources and different places around the world 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.

Jacob’s Ladder Gifted Reading Comprehension Program Second Edition

Each book in the Jacob’s Ladder Gifted Reading Comprehension Program provides teachers with an explanation of the nature of supplementary tasks that scaffold reading comprehension, and includes an overview of the goals and objectives of the tasks and suggestions for implementation.

Student Workbooks

Jacob’s Ladder Gifted Reading Comprehension Program Student Workbooks are available for Years 3–5. The workbooks correspond to the chapters in Part II – Short Stories, Poetry and Nonfiction – for each of these year levels. They provide a space for students to complete the exercises outlined in the program. Each Student Workbook can be purchased either individually or as a set of five.


Affective Jacob's Ladder

The Affective Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program focuses specifically on supporting advanced students’ social–emotional needs through the discussion of reading selections.

The books include high-interest readings, poems, and connections to videos and songs that integrate reading comprehension and analysis skills with affective and social–emotional needs. Students are asked to apply themes, character or real-life experiences, and lessons from texts to their own lives. New ladders were specially designed for this series and derived from relevant theories about empathy, risk and resilience, achievement motivation, and mindsets and practices for cultivating talent.

These guides provide teachers with an explanation of the nature and substance of the theoretical constructs for each ladder. Also included are an overview of the goals and objectives of each ladder and suggestions for how to implement the ladders in the classroom in a way that supports students’ academic and social–emotional needs at the same time.


Nonfiction Years 3, 4 & 5

Each of the three books in the Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program: Nonfiction as with the main series, comprehensively engages with the Language, Literature and Literacy strands of the Australian Curriculum: English, and features sections comprising selected reading passages on Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Mathematics and Science instruction.

Students completing the Nonfiction series will be able to comprehend and analyse any nonfiction reading passage after completing the activities in these books. Using skill ladders connected to individual readings related to essays, articles, comparison documents, infographics and other nonfiction texts, students move from lower-order, concrete thinking skills to higher-order, critical thinking skills. All of the books, geared to increasing year levels, include high-interest and accelerated readings, ladders to increase reading skill development and easy-to-implement instructions.