Thursday, November 21, 2019


Many people know that literature is near and dear to our hearts. Our family reviews books quite often, but it's always fun when we receive resources that help us enhance our study of classic books. Even though my kids spend a large portion of their school day quietly lost in a story, I still work to incorporate read-aloud selections as a family. Quite often, the kids will be building with Legos, sketching, or crafting as they listen to me read. If they keep their hands busy, it help their minds to focus on my words. We've spent many, many hours together in this way. 

Sometimes we read simply to enjoy both the story and our time together, but other times, we like to dwell on themes and principles through enrichment activities. We've used many different resources over the years to deepen our learning, but recently we were introduced to LitWits. Even though this was a new company for us, I was immediately drawn to their style of education. Their LitWits Kits start with great books and then engage students in fun, hands-on, and meaningful activities.

LitWits was founded in 2010 by two sisters, Becky and Jenny. The pair have backgrounds in literature and journalism, and both have experience with teaching. Growing up, they thrived on good books and spent their days reading and reenacting the stories. They got older and wanted to share their love of books with others. At LitWits Workshops, they conduct experiential literature classes for ages 7 and older in Santa Cruz. Obviously, not everyone can make a trip to California, so the sisters have adapted their classes for classroom and homeschool teaching in the LitWit Kits.

Over 100 books have been brought to life through the LitWits workshop through the years. Nearly half of those have been converted into downloadable kits. We had the opportunity to choose 4 titles to use in our home. For a literature-loving family, this was no easy task! I eventually settled on the following kits:

A Wrinkle in Time
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Maybe it's because we just finished a biography read aloud or because I'm personally reading a heavy historical account on my own, but I realized all the books I had chosen were fantastical and whimsical. I knew they would be the perfect books to bring to life with my kids.

I had recently purchased A Wrinkle in Time to read with my kiddos since I had surprisingly never read it myself. That was an obvious choice and the perfect first kit for us to use. Since you read the story in its entirety before starting the activities, I grabbed the book and a cup of tea while the kids gathered some toys, and we spent a few days traveling the universe. Once we returned, we delved right into the kit.

Each LitWit Kit includes the following:
  • sensory prop ideas -- see, hear, and smell what the characters did
  • bookbites ideas -- taste what the characters ate
  • creative project ideas & instructions/templates -- make something a character made
  • kinetic activity ideas & instructions/prompts -- do what a character did or should have done
  • academic handouts -- learn the story's narrative, vocabulary, setting, and more
  • creative writing handouts -- write what a character wrote or felt
  • takeaway topics -- know what the characters knew
  • learning links -- learn more about the characters' world
  • audiovisual links -- see and hear the characters' world

You can access all of the materials on their site (either by scrolling or clicking the section title) or download it directly to your device. All of the activities list supplies and directions along with the application to the story. There are also pictures included from the student workshops.

Some of the sections have questions and prompts to get your kids thinking more about the story and deeper about other things in life. For instance, while we were scaling the solar system with objects from around the house, we talked about how to remember the planets in order, just how far we are from the sun in light years, and tried to fathom how large the universe truly is. We even got a view of the basketball sun from the marble planet of Pluto.

My kids had a lot of fun making origami cubes and transporting themselves into scenes from the story, dressing up their little brother as Mrs. Whatsit, creating their own odd characters in a writing prompt, eating "alien eyeballs" while listening to space music in the dark, and more.

Along with the hands-on activities and worksheet handouts, there are many learning links to take your study deeper. There are links about the book and author, including a biography, videos, reviews, an obituary, and others. There are nearly two dozen links to supplement ideas in the story from learning about the Kennedy Space Center to study about the Theory of Relativity and irrational numbers to viewing images of the brain. We even learned the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa!

You can take your study even deeper by learning about specific warriors against the Black Thing (think Jesus, Einstein, Shakespeare, Bach, etc.) There is an entire Beyond the Book section and many audiovisual resources. There is also a Pinterest board dedicated to A Wrinkle in Time with additional ideas.

There are so many learning opportunities included in this one kit that we might choose to study it for weeks still! Even though we're still very much involved in the A Wrinkle in Time activities, I'm eager to get started with the other kits, too.

We'll send Alice tumbling down an interactive rabbit hole and eat delicious little cakes in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, become the characters while determining their responses and actions and invent magical candy prototypes in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and create tiny Kansas tornadoes in jars and learn about perspective and clarity while transforming our world through DIY green spectacles in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The possibilities are endless once we add in all the supplemental links, too!

The LitWits kits are the perfect combination of literature and intentional learning. They are filled with both worksheets and hands-on activities along with additional links for further study. Because there are many opportunities for learning, it is easy to adapt the plans to fit your needs. You can do a quick review adding in a few projects or lengthen the study by incorporating additional subtopics and ideas from the book.

If you love good literature and expounding on its aspects like we do, LitWits might have the perfect resource for you.

You can connect with LitWits on the following social media sites:

You can learn more about additional LitWit Kits by reading the reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

LitWits Kits {LitWits Reviews}
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1 comment:

  1. Erika we're so grateful for your thoughtful, kind review - thank you so very much! It was especially fun to see your little boy as Mrs. Whatsit, grinning from ear to ear. We get such a kick out of seeing "our" stuff working for home educators -- you guys "get us" and we love helping out. Thanks again for this great review!