New books unveiled for emerging readers

February 12, 2019 | Great Minds/Wilson Language Training

Great Minds, developer of highly rated grades PK–12 curricula, today unveiled Geodes, a groundbreaking new category of accessible, knowledge-building books for new and emerging readers.

Developed in collaboration with Wilson Language Training, publisher of the evidence-based foundational reading and spelling program Fundations for students in grades K–3, Geodes combine carefully selected language with highly engaging content and illustrations from top artists. These books build students’ confidence in their ability to read and inspire curiosity with knowledge-building topics.

“Each Geodes book is a gem. Students learn about topics as far-flung and fascinating as Icelandic winters, the origins of the Bolshoi ballet, the Badlands, and how to measure the strength of the wind—all while practicing their phonics. These books are so compelling, kids will not notice what sound-spelling pattern they are practicing,” said Lynne Munson, founder and CEO of Great Minds. “Geodes are an entirely new experience. Gone are the days of tedious, repetitive texts with minimal line drawings. New readers deserve better—they deserve Geodes.”

Barbara A. Wilson, the president and cofounder of Wilson Language Training, said, “All too often, books for emerging readers fail to provide the practice needed, while also lacking interest, complexity, beauty, and other qualities likely to compel readers of any age. We wanted to provide students the opportunity for a rich and rewarding reading experience while practicing the very decoding skills they are learning in the classroom. We tapped into our two organizations’ core strengths to do just that. Wilson Language Training’s expertise in foundational reading skills instruction and Great Minds’ experience at building students’ knowledge is a strong combination. We could not be prouder of the result.”

Geodes are named for modest-looking rock formations that contain countless crystals inside. Each Great Minds’ Geodes book holds a surprising amount of knowledge in a slim volume. A Geodes library comes with a natural geode for teachers and students to examine together, as they build excitement for their reading experience. A video capturing students’ delight in unboxing a Geodes library collection for the first time is available here.

With Geodes, Great Minds introduces a new type of book—Readables—into the marketplace. Unlike traditional decodables, which focus solely on the application of sound-spelling patterns, Readables give students opportunities to practice language while building and extending knowledge, vocabulary, and more. As a result, budding readers enjoy wonderfully accessible yet rich books.

Geodes align with the module topics in Great Minds’ grades K–8 English language arts curriculum, Wit & Wisdom. They also align with the scope and sequence of Wilson Fundations, a structured literacy program for grades K–3 that is supplemental to the core and provides a systematic approach to comprehensively address foundational skills as well as spelling and handwriting. Schools may use Geodes with any systematic, research-based phonics instruction program.

Geodes for Level 1 are available now. Geodes for Level 2 will be available in fall 2019. Geodes for Level K will be available in fall 2020.

Geodes join Wit & Wisdom, Eureka Math, and PhD Science in the growing portfolio of offerings from Great Minds.

Learn more about Geodes and see a book preview here.

About Great Minds: The organization recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, evolving from a startup to a provider of the highest quality materials to schools nationwide. A group of educators founded Great Minds to define and encourage knowledge-rich, comprehensive education for all students. Eureka Math and Wit & Wisdom both earned near-perfect scores from independent nonprofit reviewer Great Minds is the only curriculum developer to have earned three Tier 1 ratings, the highest possible, for Wit & Wisdom, Eureka Math, and PhD Science, from the Louisiana Department of Education, which is widely respected for its curricula leadership. A RAND Corporation survey of teachers found Eureka Math is the most widely used math curriculum in the nation. Learn more at

About Wilson Language Training: For over 30 years, Wilson Language Training (WLT) has been dedicated to “Literacy for All.” Wilson is a provider of multisensory, research-based reading and spelling programs addressing three tiers of instruction: Fundations, a prevention and early intervention program for grades K–3; Just Words, an intervention program for grades 4­–12; Wilson Reading System, an intensive program for grade 2 through adult; and Wilson Fluency/Basic, a supplemental fluency and comprehension program. Wilson Language Training empowers individual educators, schools, and districts to achieve literacy with all students in their care through its many quality professional learning offerings, working collaboratively with school districts to develop teacher-leaders and achieve sustainability plans. This work is in keeping with WLT’s goal to provide educators with the support they need to help all students become independent readers.

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