Blue Willow

(1 customer review)


About the story

Newbery Honor winner Blue Willow is set in the late 1930s in the San Joaquin Valley, California. The Larkins are refugees of the Dust Bowl in Texas, and since 10-year-old Janey Larkin’s father is a migrant worker, she doesn’t have a real home or lasting friends. Her blue willow plate is precious to her as a beautiful symbol of the home she can barely remember. Though her poverty-stricken family is loving, and she makes a true friend in Lupe, it’s Janey’s dream to have a permanent home like the one on the plate. But when her mother gets sick and the medical expenses mean the family can’t pay their rent, a scheming rent-collector threatens their security—and Janey faces the loss of her single treasure.

About the LitWits Explorer’s Guide

Experience Blue Willow with your students in fun, meaningful ways! Your kids can kick up a dust storm as they dash through a cotton-picking contest, make landscape tour booklets with setting elements, flex their descriptive muscles, decorate their own plates with symbols of home, learn about the Dust Bowl (and listen to Woody Guthrie sing about it), order a special food from a 1930s menu, and so much more!

LitWits Explorer’s Guides are private web pages that include creative and academic downloadables. This lesson planning resource is ideal for ages 8-12, but it’s highly adaptable. Scroll down to get more details and a free idea with template.



Product Description

Have straight-from-the-story fun with The LitWits Kit for BLUE WILLOW by Doris Gtes - LITWITSThe LitWits Explorer’s Guide for Blue Willow by Doris Gates

Everything in this “experience guide” comes from our unique sensory workshop on Blue Willow. It’s packed with hands-on ways to get into the characters’ shoes. When kids see, feel, hear, taste, smell, and DO what the characters did, they understand more. Better yet, they want to read more.

LitWits Explorer’s Guides are web pages packed with downloadables—templates, activity aids, academic handouts, and more. (Here’s a sample, for a different book.) Because our guides live online, we can link you to useful info and audiovisuals. And you’ll always have the very latest updates!

The LitWits Explorer’s Guide for Blue Willow includes:

  • sensory prop suggestions, with photos
  • creative project and activity ideas, with photos
  • printable templates, excerpts, and activity prompts
  • takeaway topics, to fuel meaningful conversations
  • printable handouts for creative writing, the narrative arc, setting, and more
  • research and audiovisual links, for one-stop prep and homework help
  • great quotes from the book, where copyright allows

This guide is adaptable to a wide range of ages. (See the Ways to Use tab for classroom and homeschool uses.) We find 8-12-year-olds consistently “ready to LitWit,” but you know best what your kids are ready for, interested in, and capable of.

Common Core Alignment
The LitWits experience of this book is jam-packed with carefully integrated lessons — but they’re embedded in FUN, so kids don’t feel “taught.”  At a bare minimum, the use of this guide helps meet these Common Core goals:

THIRD GRADE Common Core Alignment
FOURTH GRADE Common Core Alignment
FIFTH GRADE Common Core Alignment
SIXTH GRADE Common Core Alignment

Please note that LitWits® is a registered trademark of LitWits Workshops, LLC.  All LitWits Explorer’s Guides are copyrighted and may be used for non-commercial educational purposes only.

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1 review for Blue Willow

  1. Gary Kling

    This is a wonderful kit!

    • Jenny Walicek

      Aw thanks Gary! You’re a wonderful customer! 🙂

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