Summer of the Monkeys


About the story

Trekking through an Ozark dry riverbed, Jay Berry Lee is shocked to discover a tree full of escaped circus monkeys! Turns out there’s a big reward for their return! Jay Berry has a dream of owning a pony and a .22 rifle, so he sets out to trap the monkeys and earn the cash. But his twin sister Daisy, and her invisible friend the Old Man of the Mountains, are always on his mind, and with good reason. This is much more than a boy-wants-pony tale. In Summer of the Monkeys, Jay Berry gets what he wants, but gives it up for a greater good—and ends up with something better.

About the LitWits Explorer’s Guide

Experience Summer of the Monkeys with your students in fun, meaningful ways! This story lets you monkey around  — and pick up life lessons, history, Ozark geography, vocab, and writing tips too!  Your kids can depict the narrator’s memory as art, listen to Ozark fiddle music, craft Rawls-ish similes, eat a treat that would “put muscles on a grapevine,” use low-tech materials to build (humane) monkey traps, recreate the clay face Daisy made of another great healer, 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 SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS by Wilson Rawls - LITWITS The LitWits Explorer’s Guide for Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

Everything in this “experience guide” comes from our unique sensory workshops on Summer of the Monkeys.  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 Summer of the Monkeys 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 Explorers’ Guides are copyrighted and may be used for non-commercial educational purposes only.

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