Follow My Leader


About the story

When Jimmy is blinded in a firecracker accident, he’s understandably angry and bitter—especially at Mike, the boy he blames.  Jimmy’s new life is very hard at first, and there seems far too much to learn. But with the support of his mother, sister, and a therapist, he learns how to get around, get dressed, and find whatever he needs (except the ability to forgive his friend, that is). After lots of difficult training with his new guide dog, Leader, Jimmy gains confidence enough to re-enter school, get a job, and return to Boy Scouting. When Leader and Mike have a confrontation, Jimmy’s new perspectives are put to the test.  Follow My Leader is a beautiful story, largely autobiographical, that conveys the importance of attitude, perseverance, independence, and letting go.

About the LitWits Explorer’s Guide

Experience Follow My Leader with your students in fun, meaningful ways! Your kids can “see” the world without using their eyes, decode Dog Latin sentences, compose the forgiveness letter Jimmy could have (and should have) written, learn about the author (an unsung hero), paint a beautiful scene from the story without looking, be awed by the capabilities of the blind, 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

The LitWits Kit for FOLLOW MY LEADER by James B Garfield - LITWITS The LitWits Explorer’s Guide for Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield

Everything in this “experience guide” comes from our unique sensory workshops on Follow My Leader.  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 Follow My Leader 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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