About the Product
You can click "ways to use" for ideas on how to easily incorporate the material if you want to have a starting place. I just went to my kit. The link pulls up a welcome page with a colorful navigation bar across the top for quick reference.
To the upper right corner, you can see the little printer icon--this is what you can click on if you want to just print out the entire kit instead of using it online. It's nice to have that option for some of the projects. The Welcome and Overview is pretty much the same for every kit, so you really can skip ahead to #3 Prop Ideas.
#3 Prop Ideas is a list of various items that can be used for discussion or for creating a story space. These are a collection of different items somehow connected with the storyline itself. For instance, in the My Side of the Mountain prop list, there are small clay pots, flint, a reed whistle, botanical drawings, and more. Each of these is connected with the story of Sam in the woods. The Phantom Tollbooth has items like cookie letters, abacus, "synonym rolls", a blue envelope addressed to Milo, bottled words, etc. All of the props make sense if you read the story, so adding them in for discussion points are a great extra.
Our focus was on My Side of the Mountain and The Phantom Tollbooth. I brought in props for My Side of the Mountain that included charcoal, switchblade knife, twine, botanical drawing book, and a book identifying plants and trees. Through our discussions, we were able to connect each of these items to our story. When we pick back up The Phantom Tollbooth after our holiday break, I will be bringing letter-shaped cookies, magnetic words, and other items of the sort.
Props are a fun way to give books a visual connection.
#4 Hands-On Fun is where you get some ideas to bring things from the book to life. There are several hands-on activities included in each LitWits Kit. The Phantom Tollbooth has five hands-on activities. My Side of the Mountain has four activities. Some of them require more preparation than others and are also geared more to a group setting. This is where you will find any art projects that go with the unit. I was working My Side of the Mountain additionally with my literature group at our co-op and chose to have them complete Sam's Sketches project. I adapted it however since we were meeting in the library and I didn't want to bring in dirty things. LOL. For this project, they are to look at live samples of some of the plants Sam would have sketched and sketch their own version onto pieces of bark.
I chose a different angle--I gave them actual pieces of artist's charcoal (instead of the felt tip marker) and had them follow botanical line sketches of a few of the things from the book onto paper. They learned that charcoal is actually hard to sketch with (it smears) and decided Sam would have probably used his as a burnt stick for better control. This was an enjoyable activity for them, even the ones who claimed they couldn't draw.
|One of the boy's work|
|Drawing their idea of what the Doldrums kingdom looks like|
They really enjoyed the homophones worksheet. It talked about how you can use a different homophone and it will give a completely new meaning. Then it mixed some up for them and told them to be creative in what it described. One student decided a Chocolate Moose was a rare breed of Moose, much prized for their sweet meat. LOL. This activity brought quite a bit of grins.
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