Wit & Wisdom

At Wit & Wisdom’s core is a framework of strategic questions designed to guide teachers and students through reading, writing, and speaking about exceptionally rich and diverse texts. Many award-winning favorites are included that showcase diverse perspectives. Instructional protocols drive deeply thoughtful inquiry into the material. Paintings, photographs, and music are thoroughly integrated and seamlessly connected to lesson studies. Artfully rendered, phonics-aligned, readable texts called “Geodes” reinforce students’ application of sound-spelling patterns connected to the topics studied.

Rich, rigorous, diverse texts:

How Wit & Wisdom designs for:

Deep knowledge-building

Wit & Wisdom devotes six to eight weeks to explore each topic in tightly crafted, multi-faceted lesson sequences. In one grade 4 unit, “A Great Heart,” students explore the heart literally (as an organ) and figuratively (as the seat of courage and love), deepening their knowledge of multiple aspects of “heart.” A unique element of Wit & Wisdom is the close examination of artwork related to the core topics.

Discussions and activities are built into daily practice. Writing is text-based or text-inspired with clear instructional routines to support students. The program pays close attention—devoting 15 minutes daily—to building word knowledge through student-centered vocabulary and morphology routines. Other routines encourage students to engage independently with a range of topic-related texts.

Systematic foundational skills and fluency

Wit & Wisdom does not have a foundational skills component but can work with any research-based program. Geodes, its lyrical series of decodable readers, integrates with ELA topics and can be used with any foundational skills sequence. Grade-level fluency is effortlessly baked into lessons with passages that connect to the module topics.

Equitable access to challenging texts

Close reading is supported by the consistent use of five research-grounded stages—Wonder, Organize, Reveal, Distill, and Know—to engage students in productive struggle and guide their multi-layered explorations of complex texts. Students are habitually asked to reflect on what they are learning and their attitudes about acquiring skills and knowledge.

Topics of study

Learning and exhibiting deep knowledge

Foundational skills instruction

Access Wit & Wisdom

Wit & Wisdom was developed and is distributed by Great Minds.

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