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:
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
Foundational skills instruction
Access Wit & Wisdom
Wit & Wisdom was developed and is distributed by Great Minds.
Wit & Wisdom in districts
“I’ve learned to step back and give the students more of the torch.”
“You see the students engage in conversations that wouldn’t necessarily happened if the curriculum was different across the classrooms.”
“I can say that I have grown with reading understanding. So now, if I read somebody asked me what I learned from the story, I can say a lot.”
“You can see that they’re more comfortable and confident in their writing and in their conversations.”
“If I just take the easy one, I’m not really pushing myself to learn harder.”
“They [teachers] still spend a lot of time outside the school day working… but it’s more rehearsing and fine-tuning.”
“The Socratic seminars are great. They really enjoy those academic, text-based discussions.”