Lightning Literature

February 7, 2011
No votes yet.
Please wait...
Content: Reading Comprehension
Grade(s): 1st – 12th
Perspective: Secular and Christian
Prep Time: Moderate
Teacher Manual: Yes
Teacher Involvement: Moderate
Cost: $$$ || ?
Pages: 160
Publication Date: 2011

** From the Publisher’s Website: **

The Elementary Teacher’s Guide contains comprehension questions on the reading (and answers), instructions for the weekly composition, answers to the Student Guide, and suggestions for extra related activities. The consumable four-color Student Guide includes instruction on grammar (including sentence diagramming) and workbook pages, a reading journal, dictionary pages, and sentence puzzles.

Grade 1: Every week, students read a beautiful, classic picture book. Stories include titles such as Harold and the Purple Crayon, Stellaluna, and Make Way for Ducklings.

Grade 2: Students begin by reading a beautiful picture book each week. Towards the end of the year, students move to classic chapter books.

Grade 3: Students read chapter books, including titles such as Charlotte’s Web, Newbery Award winners like The Wheel on the School, and new friends like The Rickshaw Girl. Composition assignments begin to span 2-weeks.

Grade 4: Students read a variety of great children’s literature, classic and modern. Two books written in verse encourage students to explore poetry in different ways than they may have previously. An inspiring nonfiction story of a boy’s quest in Africa to bring electric power to his home provides lessons on expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative writing.

Grade 7: Students learn about plot lines and creativity by reading books such as Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Alice into Wonderland. They also explore dialogue, poetry, and autobiographies.

Grade 8: Students learn about author’s purpose, setting, character development, story arcs, symbolism in novels, such as Treasure Island, A Day of Pleasure, Christmas Carol, and The Hobbit. They also read poetry before ending the year with To Kill a Mockingbird and how to write a literary analysis.

High School Level
Students can spend a semester or a year focused on a time and place, topic, or author. These guides provide lessons in literature that will help not just your student’s reading comprehension and love of books, but their own writing as well. Rather than a bland text compiled by a committee, these guides are written by parents, homeschoolers, and teachers with a passion for literature and writing. (The first eight guides listed below are non-religious. The last four have religious content.)

Current high-school courses include:

  • American Literature: Early – Mid 19th Century
    Includes writings by Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, and others

  • American Literature: Mid – Late 19th Century
    Includes writings by Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, and others

  • Speech
    Includes writings by Daniel Webster, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Elie Wiesel, and others

  • British Literature: Early – Mid 19th Century
    Includes writings by Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Charlotte Bronte, and others

  • British Literature: Mid – Late 19th Century
    Includes writings by Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and others

  • Shakespeare: Tragedies and Sonnets
    Includes Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear

  • Shakespeare: Comedies and Sonnets
    Includes Twelfth Night, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Merchant of Venice

  • Medieval British Literature
    Includes Beowulf, Robin Hood, The Canterbury Tales, and other titles

  • British Christian Literature ** Contains Religious Content
    Includes writings by C. S. Lewis, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Amy Carmichael, and others

  • American Christian Literature ** Contains Religious Content
    Includes writings by Anne Bradstreet, Frederick Buechner, Walker Percy, and others

  • World Literature I: Africa and Asia ** Contains Religious Content
    Includes writings by Chinua Achebe, Kazuo Ishiguro, and others

  • World Literature II: Latin America, Africa, and Asia ** Contains Religious Content
    Includes writings by R. K. Narayan, Isabel Allende, and others

About the Author:
The primary function of the Hewitt Foundation has shifted from consultation with educational institutions to an examination of institutions in society as they relate to society’s basic unit-the family. Hewitt’s research has led it to be a proponent of homeschooling. Their emphasis includes combining excellent academics with character development, instilling the work ethic, and developing a spirit of community service in the next generation. Hewitt’s operation is currently divided into three sectors: services, testing, and products.

Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Lightning Literature? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.



  • Kirsten Merryman September 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    We used LL for seventh grade with my son and I plan to use it with my sixth grade daughter this year. I was looking for a program that introduced a way to talk about literature that went beyond mere comprehension questions (as some other guides do). LL is gentle, not very heavy, but worked great for that reason. We weren’t looking for a comprehensive program (we address writing and grammar separately), and LL was a good vehicle for giving us discussion guidelines for lit. I also enjoyed the literature choices.

  • Anna M. September 2, 2012 at 6:27 am

    LL7 is an easy introduction to literary analysis. We used the 8 units for the entire language arts year but had to supplement with grammar and spelling. You get a vocabulary list with each unit but not much else. The writing assignments were good for my son who doesn’t like to write, but I can see why some people think it’s too easy. They’re really more just writing prompts and not lessons on analyzing literature.

  • Davonna Cufley February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    My gifted 5th grader did Lightning Lit 8 over a semester, and I was impressed with the content. The book selections were meaty but appropriate for a younger reader. I’m a scientist, so I need some spoon-feeding to teach literary analysis – I will definitely use this series with my younger kids in future.

  • Sarah MacLeod February 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve used the seventh grade curriculum with my gifted 5th grader. While the curriculum is designed to take a year, I found the pace too slow, especially when reading the longer novels, which are spread over many weeks. My son found it easier to read them over a shorter time for the sake of comprehension and to hold his interest. He’s NOT a big fan of fiction, and he’d rather not study literature at all, but he enjoyed this program. The selections were appropriate in content for even a child at bit younger than 7th grade (There’s nothing objectionable.), yet they’d hold the interest of an older reader needing a good base for literature study.

    The program is sound and easily adapted to writers of various ability, with assignments ranging from quite concrete and simple to more challenging assignments. I’m looking forward to using the program again (in a semester rather than a year) with my younger next fall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *