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Literature Workshops for Kids

“It’s like a field trip inside the book!”

Hands-on, sensory experiences of great books, now online!

Our experiential workshops are now held everywhere, thanks to Zoom! Some families used to drive 2-3 hours to attend, which really warmed our hearts, but we’re so glad no one has to do that anymore. Kids ages 7+ show up on our screen having already read or listened to the featured book, and for three hours we experience it together in creative, sensory ways.  It’s a hands-on, memorable experience that makes lessons stick.

The most important lessons are about personal growth:  developing positive traits and coping skills.  You can read more about our philosophy here, but in short, by “getting in the characters’ shoes,” kids identify, empathize, and grow with those characters.  They see elements of themselves in the other, and learn “I can make that change, too.”  We love seeing the wide-eyed, light-bulb moments on their faces as this message kicks in.  And we love knowing more kids now want to read more great books!

But our LitWitty approach has deep academic value, too.  Our immersive activities, projects, discussions, and worksheets are designed to naturally convey layers of key ideas and information at once. As we work, talk, and play our way through the narrative arc, kids learn about themes, the author’s process and choices, writing skills, historical and geographical contexts, themes, and so much more!

There’s no pressure to perform or participate–we want to inspire children to love great books. Those who already love reading are thrilled at the chance to soak up more of a book , and those who don’t like to read (or write) are inspired by the pleasure we take in “experiencing” the story. Who wouldn’t want to write, when a master writer has just showed us the power of words in a story, and we’ve just LIVED that story in so many sensory ways? (Here are some examples, at a glance.)

Kids love getting our LitWits Kits boxes of supplies in the mail, to be opened step by step during the online workshop. It’s a lot of fun for us to make those packages super creative and sensory. We’d love to have your child join us. (If that’s not possible, see our new TIY option on our registration pages!)

 

Scroll down for workshop details.

BRAVO! A silver lining of these times is that I get to be the fly on the wall for a LitWits workshop. You both are amazing and creative. Your communication is clear, your activities are thoughtful, and your BookBites are crowd-pleasers. LitWits (and life) are so great in person, but the way you ladies Zoom works great too!

The LitWits Kit for THE GOOD MASTER by Kate Seredy - LitWits Workshops

LitWits is motivating, educational, and inspirational. Your workshops have shown my son that exploring the world of literature and writing can be fun. I can’t thank you enough.

The LitWits Kit for THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare - LitWits Workshops

Jun-Dec 2020 Workshops

Click to register your child for a workshop, OR to order our TIY option*

 

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (held Jun 25)  |  ORDER TIY option until we run out

TOO LATE for My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (workshop Jul 23)

REGISTER or ORDER by Jul 18 for Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (workshop Aug 13)

REGISTER or ORDER by Aug 30 for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (workshop Sep 24)

REGISTER or ORDER by Sep 26 for  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (workshop Oct 22)

REGISTER or ORDER by Oct 24 for  Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (workshop Nov 19)

REGISTER or ORDER by Nov 21 for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (workshop Dec 17)

*If you’d rather teach your own kids the LitWits way, you can now TIY with our stuff!  On our registration pages, you’ll have the option to order a LitWits Kit for each child, packed with workshop supplies. Your order includes free access to the relevant LitWits Explorer’s Guide, too–that’s a web page packed with all the kid-tested workshop fun that can be put online, all easily adaptable to classroom and homeschool teaching.  Once we’ve finished teaching the workshop, we’ll send you our fine-tuned agenda ASAP, and you’ll be invited to attend our “what we did” session on Zoom.

My daughter absolutely loves attending. They are hands-down her favorite school activities she’s ever done, and I appreciate that very much.

Thank you so much for providing such an amazing environment for the kids. It has been so much fun for me personally to embark on the adventure of each book with them, with the workshop waiting like a prize at the finish line!

We also offer Writing Practice for 10+, semester-length English courses for teens, and week-long creative and essay writing camps.

Details

 

Ages:  For a few books, all sessions are for one age group. Usually, though, each workshop is offered for two age groups, 7+ and 10+. The content will be exactly the same in the 7+ and 10+ groups, and all will do creative writing. The differences are:

Ages 7+

  • slower pace, more thorough project directions
  • thorough discussion of all handout information
  • more time for projects and creative writing, with one-on-one help as needed
  • age-appropriate expectations for efforts and participation
  • appropriate peer setting

Ages 10+

  • faster pace, less detailed project directions
  • emphasis on thoughtful, thorough responses on all handouts
  • more time for deeper, age-appropriate discussions and creative writing
  • age-appropriate expectations for efforts and participation
  • appropriate peer setting

If this age division separates siblings who would prefer to be together, or if it better suits your schedule to have them in a single workshop, older kids are welcome to attend the 7+ workshops, but not the other way around.

Hours:   Because of Covid-19 our workshops are now held online, via Zoom (9am-12pm (ages 7+) and 1-4pm (ages 10+) on scheduled Thursdays. If there’s enough demand, we’ll also hold a session 9am-12pm (all ages) on Fridays. We’ll mail your child a LitWits Kit of supplies and materials ahead of time, and send you a Zoom link before the workshop.

Cost: The $65 cost of each 3-hour workshop includes all supplies and a no-nuts, book-related snack. There’s a sibling discount of $10 each for two or more children in the same session.  LitWits Workshops is an approved vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School. Our full calendar for 2020/21 is here.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel at least 30 days before the workshop, we’ll be happy to issue a full refund. Within 30 days we’ll refund 50%, as we’ve incurred per-child costs by then. Unfortunately, we can no longer offer makeups.

Location:  Because of the virus crisis our workshops are being held online, via Zoom. We’ll mail you a LitWits Kit of supplies and materials ahead of time, and send you a Zoom link before the workshop.

Preparation:  We strongly encourage completion of the book before the workshop. Heavily abridged and audio versions are perfectly fine — but we recommend against watching the movie, even if it’s true to the book.  We want kids to “make their own pictures!”

Becky and Jenny - LitWits Workshops (2)

Instructors: Becky and Jenny, sisters and LitWits founders. Jenny has a BA in English literature and an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry writing. She’s been a K-6 teacher and a K-12 language arts tutor, and her scholarship, essays, and poems have appeared in several journals. Becky is a literature-based homeschool teacher and a journalism major who spent four years as a staff writer for The Register Pajaronian. Both Becky and Jenny have written creative biographies of two fascinating Bay Area women of history.