The Trumpeter of Krakow

(1 customer review)


About the story

In The Trumpeter of Krakow, set in 15th-century Poland, Joseph Charnetski and his family flee their country home for Krakow, pursued by an evil Tartar who wants to steal their Great Tarnov Crystal. The scientist-scholar Jan Kanty helps them find housing, and gets the father a job as the trumpeter at St. Mary’s—a legendary role. Despite their vigilance, an alchemist steals the crystal, believing it to be the Philosopher’s Stone, and fire and brimstone ensue! (Really!) Full of excitement and intrigue, this book shows us what it means to be noble, and conveys the dangers of misusing power.  

About the LitWits Explorer’s Guide

Experience The Trumpeter of Krakow with your students in fun, meaningful ways! Your kids can travel back in time to fifteenth century Poland, where they can discover the Great Tarnov Crystal and reenact its journey to Krakow, meeting Tartars and Cossacks and Ivan the Terrible along the way! They can create fragile rose windows, try to hire a new trumpeter, learn how Gothic architecture terms are used in modern conversation, decorate bookmarks with Latin script, transmutate brass keys, 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 Explorer’s Guide for The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

Everything in this “experience guide” comes from our unique sensory workshops on The Trumpeter of Krakow.  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 The Trumpeter of Krakow 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 The Trumpeter of Krakow

  1. raguilar (verified owner)

    This was my first purchase from LitWits. I thought it was well thought out and encompassed a lot. My only problem was that some of the activities were for large groups instead of a homeschool family of2 or 3. I also wished there was a plan on what to read when and what activities to do when, since we had never read the book before we were a little lost on where and how to begin. Other than that it was great.

    • Jenny

      Thank you so much for taking the time to review your LitWits Kit! We appreciate your encouragement and your suggestions. We’ll keep in mind that we need to offer suggestions for making all activities more adaptable to smaller groups. (They usually are, but this kit in particular has an activity that works much better with more kids – hunting down the Great Tarnov Crystal.)

      We will definitely put our heads together and come up with suggestions for what to do when! We do have a sample agenda in our preview kit (, but of course, each teacher’s situation is so unique, it’s hard to say what will work for whom. Still, we can come up with guidelines – thanks again for the suggestion. That’s probably an issue for lots of educators, and we’re so glad you spelled it out for us!

      Happy teaching,
      Becky and Jenny

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