SANTA CRUZ, Calif., March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Experiential learning is hot – and not just for STEM. To two sisters who grew up "making great books real," the application to literature is clear. They know firsthand what a difference it makes in engagement, motivation, and retention. That's why they founded LitWits Workshops, which brings great books to life for ages 9-12.
"When you share a character's experience first-hand, you make a real connection," says Becky Clendenen Kimball. "We want kids to really get into characters' shoes, to really get how camphor smells, or how Braille feels, or what Yorkshire pudding tastes like. When they physically identify with the characters, kids learn from the inside out. They might be building spool cannons, sketching on bark, decoding runes, or carding wool, but they're also learning something critical about the story. Most importantly, they're learning that literature can be fun."
The company creates LitWits Kits, one-stop resources for hands-on approaches to vintage and classic books. The kits are based on LitWits' popular experiential workshops, held for Santa Cruz students since 2010. Downloadables, academic handouts, and discussion prompts support the hands-on activities, and Common Core alignment is included.
"When kids experience great books in sensory ways, they want to read more," says Kimball's sister and partner, Jenny Clendenen Walicek. "And kids who read more great books learn more great things." Those things include history, character development, theme, vocabulary, geography, writing skills, the narrative arc, and more.
On Saturday, March 25, LitWits' website will relaunch as LitWits.com, featuring 40 new and improved LitWits Kits in a digital format. Kits will be available for such varied classics as A Wrinkle in Time, Johnny Tremain, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Phantom Tollbooth, Tom Sawyer, The Hobbit, The Tempest, and Treasure Island. The relaunch will coincide with LitWits' exhibition at the ASCD Empower17 conference in Anaheim.
Each LitWits Kit includes:
- straight-from-the-story projects and activities
- downloadable prompts, templates, models
- sensory prop suggestions
- "taste of the story" ideas
- academic handouts with keys
- discussion starters
- curated learning/audiovisual links
- Common Core alignment
Teacher Julie Vasillatos has been using the kits in their former PDF version for years. ""It only took one LitWits Kit to completely change the way I read and teach literature," she says. "Now I know how to turn books I love into inspiring, academic fun."
After LitWits.com's launch on March 25th, access to any one LitWits Kit may be purchased for $18. Membership, at just $9 per month, includes a kit of the member's choice each month. (Schools may purchase memberships in bulk for $99 per year.) To purchase or get more information, visit www.litwits.com.
LitWits® Workshops, LLC is a Santa Cruz, California company that makes great books irresistible through experiential curriculum. LitWits believes that when kids read great books for fun, they learn for life. Find out more at www.LitWits.com.
P.O. Box 20272
San Jose, CA 95160
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SOURCE LitWits Workshops, LLC