The Facts About Wit & Wisdom®

And Its Impact


It starts with the books. Excellent texts are at the center of Wit & Wisdom. Students build knowledge through carefully curated core texts that

  • are rich with content that piques curiosity,
  • represent grade-level complexity, and
  • showcase diverse perspectives.
The curriculum features much-beloved, award-winning books from both contemporary and established authors, many of which parents will remember from their own childhoods. Learn more about our approach to developing a curriculum based on knowledge-building texts that engage students in productive struggle and joyful learning.

Speak with a Great Minds® representative to access free Wit & Wisdom core text sample kits.

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What People are Saying About Wit & Wisdom

“I was initially hesitant about new curriculum, but it won me over for its excellent texts and intellectually stimulating content. The depth of knowledge that students build is incredible, and lesson planning is enjoyable again because it’s about helping kids to internalize content. Also, representation matters, and I saw myself, my kids, and our community.”

— Kyair Butts
Grade 6 Teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland

“The biggest differentiator with Wit & Wisdom is the quality of the texts. The kids are so engaged, they can’t wait to get back to the books.”

—Jen Arellano
Teacher, Bonsall Elementary School, Bonsall Unified School District, California

“ In student conversations, seminars, group work and writing, we see each day that our kids can do abundantly more than we’d imagined. Our dream now is to keep raising the bar and watching our students push evenhigher.”

—Scott Langford
Assistant Director of Schools for Instruction, Sumner County Schools, Tennessee

“Students make connections that have never crossed my mind…They struggle but are willing to struggle. What I also see is how amazing students’ End of Module tasks turn out. Students are proud of their work and want to share.”

—Jessica Godsey
Grade 7, English Language Arts Teacher, Mad River Local Schools, Ohio

“The texts were intentionally selected to provide opportunities for students to see themselves reflected in them and also to open up for students a knowledge of the world and the world of ideas.”

—Shawn Kimble, Lauderdale County (TN)

    Read more customer testimonials from across the country.

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    Curriculum Case Study: After a Shift in Curriculum in One Tennessee County, ‘Everyone’s Playing Field Is the Same’
    February 25, 2020

    “We are only in our third year of using Wit & Wisdom, but already the teachers in Lauderdale County see an enormous difference in students’ writing compared to previous years. They are noticing how complete the sentences are that our young students are using, and they appreciate the agility with which students are making connections to things they learned before. We are confident that test results in the years ahead will validate the decision we’ve made to implement a high-quality curriculum. In the meantime, our students and teachers are excited about the learning journey they’re on.”

    – Shawn Kimble, Superintendent of Lauderdale County Schools

     

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    Curriculum Case Study: How One Rural Tennessee School District With 25 Percent Student Literacy and Nearly a Quarter of Kids Living in Poverty Is Turning the Tide
    February 25, 2020

    “We hear a lot in education circles lately about “shifting the cognitive load” from teachers to students. This shift is something we’re witnessing in droves with the adoption of this new structured curriculum. Perhaps the most profound, oft-heard reaction teachers have shared with me about their experience of using Wit & Wisdom is their surprise and excitement about the level of work their students are doing.

    – Lauderdale County Schools Superintendent Shawn Kimble

     

    Tennessean

    Academic gains, new ideas and empathy: What's at stake when the books students can read are restricted
    November 14, 2021

    "Books might actually be one of the few places left where young people might be able to meet people unlike themselves, where they might be able to live vicariously in someone else’s experience and see how they are unlike in a lot of ways as well as what they have in common," Susan L. Groenke, professor of English education and director of the Center for Children's and Young Adult Literature at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

    — The Tennessean

    The Daily Times

    Blount County Schools educators support Wit and Wisdom, offer alternatives
    October 12, 2021

    "Elaine Hurst said her sons not only have been in schools using Wit and Wisdom but she read the books with them at home. “From a mother’s perspective it did not alarm me or make me feel uncomfortable. I am still very proud that we use these real texts with our students instead of a basal with text and passages that don’t have a lot meaning. Building knowledge for these students and giving them perspective of the world to me is something I am very proud of.”

    – Elaine Hurst, Blount County Parent

    Forbes

    Misguided Attacks Shouldn't Derail Tennessee's Curriculum Momentum
    August 7, 2021

    “It’s understandable if parents want to protect their children from sadness, but it’s impossible to teach history accurately without mentioning events that could evoke it. (…) You could argue—as many have—that information about historical topics, pleasant or unpleasant, should wait until children are older. But if students encounter history for the first time in upper grades, it can be hard for them to absorb it and engage with it at the level the curriculum expects. Teachers have told me it’s not uncommon for high school students to confuse, for example, the Civil War and the civil rights movement. If they’ve learned about these events earlier, that’s much less likely to happen.”

    — Natalie Wexler

    See National and State Curriculum Reviews of Wit & Wisdom®

    Knowledge Building Resources

    FOR FAMILIES AND STUDENTS

     

    Knowledge has a multiplier effect—the earlier you learn, the better you do in later years. These time-tested and much-used materials help kids get a head start learning essential literacy skills, knowledge across different fields, and important values of empathy and perseverance. Building this knowledge prepares students to reach their full potential and become empathetic and productive citizens in the real world.

    We realize that school districts around the country are having important conversations about what children are learning and, notably, what they’re reading. We welcome those conversations. We’re a team of educators and parents ourselves. We know children do better when families are involved in their local public schools. Read more about books and best practices in literary instruction here.

    Access resources about how to share information about Wit & Wisdom with caregivers and inspire families to get involved in their student’s learning.

    Wit & Wisdom’s curriculum complies with the laws of every state in which we operate and does not teach critical race theory (CRT).

    Wit&Wisdom_Knowledge-Building-for-FamiliesWit & Wisdom Tips for Families

    Click the images above to download. Also available in Spanish
     

    For families

     

    This video provides a brief overview of Wit & Wisdom instruction for districts or schools to share with families and caregivers.

    Para familias

     

    Este video contiene información general sobre Wit & Wisdom para que los distritos o escuelas la compartan con familias o cuidadores.


    STATE STANDARDS ALIGNMENT STUDIES

    The texts and tasks included in Wit & Wisdom present opportunities for students to practice and master the skills that state standards require. Instead of addressing standards one by one, in isolation, the tasks and activities associated with each Wit & Wisdom text integrate multiple components from each state’s standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. Various standards are integrated throughout each module.

    Click the map to access detailed analyses that demonstrate how each grade of Wit & Wisdom aligns with specific state standards.

    AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

    CLASSROOM TOOLKITS

    Wit & Wisdom teacher resources empower educators to maximize student potential. These in-depth guides help educators get a better understanding of the curriculum, the research that supports our methodologies, and the skills needed for effective implementation and communication

    Wit&Wisdom-Supporting Educators with Text Based DiscussionsWit & Wisdom Implementation Guide 2023

    Click the images above to download.


    From Sea to Shining Sea: Teacher Testimonials

    Hear from educators across the country as they share classroom stories of using Wit & Wisdom's vibrant core texts in the classroom. Discover the impact of high quality texts that provide windows into different time periods, cultures, and parts of the world that students may otherwise never experience, mirrors for students to see themselves represented, and sliding glass doors to step into the shoes of characters, as students build perspective and understanding of other citizens of the world.

    Rebecca Burgess
    Grade 3 English Language Arts Teacher

    Giselle Hendrix
    Grade 5 English Language Arts Teacher

    Seth Benjamin
    Grade 6 English Language Arts Teacher

     

    TALK WITH A REPRESENTATIVE

    To learn more about the Wit & Wisdom Curriculum, and get access to a free Core Text Sample Kit