Johnny Tremain Carry On Mr Bowditch The Wind int he Willows The Wheel on the School Little House in the Big Woods

Distance Learning with LitWits Explorer’s Guides

The LitWits Explorer's Guide for JOHNNY TREMAIN by Esther ForbesMany of you have asked if it’s possible to LitWit long-distance using our Explorer’s Guides. The short answer is, YES! Each guide is different, but the templates, worksheets, Learning Links and Takeaway Topics would certainly work without any adjustment. The projects and activities vary from book to book, but are full of possibilities, depending on the resources available to each child.  For instance:


Make up packets for each of your students using our supplies lists and downloadable handouts, and arrange for parents and kids to come pick them up at a pre-appointed time.  Not only is this convenient for you, but your kids miss you, and it will be good for them to see your smiling eyes, even if a mask hides your smile. It also helps build anticipation for the LitWits experience ahead!

Mail boxes or packets of handouts and supplies to each of your students

While this is a more expensive option, your kids will love getting something from you in the mail and looking forward to opening it with you online. Be sure to include a note that tells them not to peek ahead if you want to keep it a surprise.  Here’s what we sent our Johnny Tremain workshoppers, for instance:

The LitWits Kit for JOHNNY TREMAIN - project supplies, activity materials, story snack, worksheets, and the book

Enlist the help of your students in gathering supplies

Whether it’s a few props or an entire supplies list, decide what you’d like them to find ahead of time and create a scavenger hunt list. Many of the things used in our workshops are common craft items and are found in most homes.

What about handouts and project templates?

That’s the easy part. Print them ahead and include them in the students packets, or email them to parents to print out.

Learning Links work great online! 

We’ve curated a wonderful selection of videos and articles from the web and included them with each of our Explorer’s Guides.  They cover topics directly related to the book as well as some tangential information prompted by things one might wonder about while reading the story. If you’re Zooming, it’s easy to share your screen and play videos for and show pictures to your students. You could also assign some learning links to your students ahead of time to reflect on together during discussion.

Adapt as needed!

Our examples and suggestions are just that— not rules written in stone. There’s not a wrong way to LitWit. Feel free to take our ideas and adjust them to suit your needs, your students, and your situation. Give yourself permission to do less than or more than we’ve suggested.  It’s all about sharing the joy of great books, so have FUN!

We hope that helps. If you have thoughts or ideas to share, please leave them in the comments.  We love hearing from you!

Becky Kimball

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