Classroom Activity Guide - HarperCollins

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by C. S. LewisClassroomActivity GuideSeven doors into Narnia The Magician’s NephewThe Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His BoyPrince CaspianThe Voyage of the Dawn TreaderThe Silver ChairThe Last Battle

QStudy Guide to The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. LewisCONTENTSS About The Chronicles of NarniaS About C. S. LewisS Reading Skills & StrategiesS ThemesS Discussions Across The Chronicles of NarniaS Independent ProjectsS Book 1: The Magician’s NephewS Book 2: The Lion, The Witch and the WardrobeS Book 3: The Horse and His BoyS Book 4: Prince CaspianS Book 5: The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderS Book 6: The Silver ChairS Book 7: The Last BattleWina trip to thePrince Caspian33444–556789101112movie set!“Narnia Beyond the Wardrobe” Educator SweepstakesTake a quick and easy Narnia questionnaire available to win these fantastic prizes; One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a five (5)-day/four (4)-night trip to the set of the forthcoming feature film The Chronicles ofNarnia: Prince Caspian. The trip includes roundtrip economy airfarefor two, ground transportation to and from the airport and roomaccommodations based on double occupancy. Approximate retailvalue of the Grand Prize is 5,000. F ive (5) First Prize winners will each receive an AmericanExpress Gift Cheque in the amount of 500 and a library ofHarperCollins Children’s Books worth 250. Ten (10) Second Prize winners will each receive a Staples Gift Certificate in the amount of 250 and a library of HarperCollinsChildren’s Books worth 100.Visit for full sweepstakes details, including official rules and prize descriptions.NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER. “NARNIA BEYOND THE WARDROBE” EDUCATOR SWEEPSTAKES (“Sweepstakes”)is sponsored by HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York, 10019 (“Sponsor”). 1. Eligibility. Sweepstakes open only to legalresidents of the United States (excluding residents of Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories and possessions) who (i) are AGE 18 OR OVER AS OF June 21st, 2006, and(ii), at the time of entry, are educational professionals, such as teachers, librarians, principals, educational paraprofessionals, district professionals, and after-school leaders.2. How to Enter. To enter the Sweepstakes, visit during the period commencing June 21, 2006, and ending January 31, 2007and follow the instructions to register for the Teachers and Librarians Newsletter and complete the Narnia Educator Questionnaire. 3. Procedures and Notification ofWinners. On or about February 5, 2007, in a random drawing, Sponsor will select winners from all eligible entries received. Odds of winning depend on the total numberof eligible entries received. On or about February 12, 2007, winners will be notified by e-mail, U.S. Mail, and/or telephone.

QABOUT THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIAThe interest in the world of Narnia is vast and on the rise. Millions of children enjoyed Walt DisneyPictures and Walden Media’s incredible blockbuster motion picture, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, theWitch and the Wardrobe.Now is the perfect time to reintroduce the complete classic collection of seven novels by C. S. Lewis toyour students. Each book stands alone as a work of genius, but together they tell the entire history ofa fantastic world that becomes as real as our own. A world of magic and adventure—a place in whichchildren’s imaginations know no bounds.The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first published in 1950, but C. S. Lewis began piecing togetherthe story long before that. The tales and ancient myths his Irish nurse told always fascinated him; andwhen he was sixteen, a picture of a faun carrying parcels and an umbrella in snowy woods popped into hishead. Years later, during World War II, four children stayed with Lewis at his country house and stirredhis imagination again. Not long afterward, he began writing the story that would become The Lion, theWitch and the Wardrobe.While writing, Lewis incorporated creatures from myths along with his own memories—such as thatof the old wardrobe from his childhood. As the children found their way into Narnia, he was stillunsure of what his story would be about. Then the image of Aslan came to him. Lewis once said, “Idon’t know where the Lion came from or why he came. But once he was there, he pulled the wholestory together.”After being illustrated by Pauline Baynes, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was published to greatsuccess. With so many stories to tell about Narnia and its unforgettable characters, Lewis wrote six morebooks. Published in 1956, The Last Battle was awarded the Carnegie Medal—England’s highest honor forchildren’s literature.Photo credit: Hulton Deutsch Collection/John ChillingworthMillions of readers have discovered The Chronicles of Narnia. As you read the books for the first time, orrediscover their magic, take some time to discuss them. The following questions are intended to sparkdebate about topics such as good versus evil, symbolism and relationships. So gather round and journeyonce more to the wondrous land of Narnia.ABOUT C. S. LEWIS (1898–1963)Clive Staples Lewis, known as Jack to his friends, was born in 1898. Lewisand his good friend J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Ringstrilogy, were part of the Inklings, an informal writers’ club that met at alocal pub to discuss story ideas. Lewis’s fascination with fairy tales, mythsand ancient legends, coupled with inspiration drawn from his childhood,led him to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the best-lovedbooks of all time. Six futher books followed to become the immenselypopular Chronicles of Narnia. The final title in the series, The Last Battle,won the Carnegie Medal, one of the highest marks of excellence inchildren’s

QSHARING THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIAREADING SKILLS & STRATEGIESAnalyze StructureHave students look at how the author uses digressions, storieswithin stories, flashbacks, and shifts in point of view to getacross information and keep the story moving. What role doessuspense play in these stories? How is it created and sustained?Students should be aware that part of an author’s art isdeciding what to leave out. Watch for what Lewis tells us heisn’t telling us!Examine Voice and ViewpointAsk students to consider the following questions: Who is thenarrator of The Chronicles of Narnia? What words wouldstudents use to describe the narrator’s voice? How does theauthor use humor and irony to entertain the reader, and whateffect do these have on the story? Ask students to take specialnote of asides to the audience, places where the narrator breaksthe story to talk directly to the reader. What do these momentsadd to the story?Recognize Literary DevicesLewis’s lively writing provides repeated opportunities toidentify wordplay, analogies, similes, metaphors, allegories, andsymbolism. Ask students to be aware of how different charactersuse language. How do these devices enrich the text?THEMESBeliefsCharacters regularly confront issues of good and evil. Howdoes what a character believes affect how he or she acts andvice versa? What are some examples of good and evil behavior?How do the characters respond to good and evil?CourageWhat is courage? When do characters show courage? Havestudents examine the difference between rash action andcourageous action. What is the difference between caution andcowardice? How does fear affect how the characters perceivethe world, and how they act?FantasyInvestigate CharacterHave students analyze the characters they encounter inThe Chronicles of Narnia. They may consider their traits,motivations, conflicts, points of view, relationships, and thechanges they undergo. How is Lewis able to establish characterwith a few carefully chosen details? How does character effectaction? Can we tell what a character will do in a given situationbased on what we know about him or her? When do characterschange, and why? How do recurring characters evolve overthe course of The Chronicles of Narnia?Have students discuss the different elements that make upfantasy. What images of this fantasy world are most vivid? Howdo the children adapt to the altered realities of Narnia? Whatpreconceptions do they bring with them?DISCUSSIONS ACROSSTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIAThe following questions are designed to spark discussionabout the issues and topics raised in this series.Childhood and AdulthoodKeep a JournalStudents can keep journals to record their responses toThe Chronicles of Narnia as they read. You might ask studentsto use their journals to do any or all of the following: Pause at points when characters face a difficult decision andask themselves: What would I do in this situation? Choose a character who speaks in a distinct style and write aparagraph in that character’s voice. Choose a character whose point of view is not shown in aparticular section and tell the section’s story from thatcharacter’s point of view. Record questions you would like to ask the author or characters. Note literary devices; keep lists of new vocabulary words.“Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grownups have another kind.” (The Magician’s Nephew, p. 89) Howwould you describe the difference between these kinds ofsilliness? What are some other observations the author makesabout children and adults? Do you think Lewis rememberedhis own childhood or had a sense of how children think? Whyor why not?Complexity of EmotionLewis frequently shows characters feeling more than one thingat once, or experiencing closely alternating emotions. Findexamples of this in the books and see if you can explain thecharacters’ experience. Can you think of a time when you felttwo different ways about something in your own life? Write down quotations you find interesting and might like todiscuss later. In particular, you could note observations thatyou think apply to our world. Sketch drawings inspired by mental images the text evokes.

QSHARING THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (continued)Gender RolesResearch Historical ConnectionsCompare male and female roles in the books. How do TheChronicles of Narnia reflect different expectations for boys andgirls? How do attitudes about gender roles at the time the serieswas written (early to mid-1950s) compare with attitudes now?Which characters were your favorites? Why do you think theauthor decides to send particular characters—and not others—on each specific voyage?The Chronicles of Narnia were written in the years followingthe cataclysmic events of World War II. In fact, the firstNarnia book—The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe—takesplace while bombs are falling on London. Research why theAllied defeat of the Nazis has been viewed as the triumph ofgood over evil. Then write a report describing how thehistorical events of World War II may have played a role inThe Chronicles of Narnia, especially in the ongoing strugglebetween Narnia and Calormen.Talking and Non-Talking AnimalsWrite a Character StudyRecurring CharactersWhat distinction is made between talking animals and nontalking animals? Why do Narnians consider it horrible to killor eat a talking animal when it is okay to kill or eat a nontalking one? What does this say about the importance ofspeech to the author, or as an attribute of humanity?INDEPENDENT PROJECTSYou may not have time to read all of The Chronicles of Narniawith your class. If not, you might want to encourage studentsto continue reading the books on their own. Following aresuggestions for independent projects for your students whoread the whole series.Create a Values ChartMake a chart with two columns, “Values” and “Characters.” Inthe first column list the following values represented inThe Chronicles of Narnia: charity, faith, humility, justice, mercy.In the second column list the characters in whom you see thesevalues embodied.Make a Narnia MapChoose two characters who appear in several books. Write acharacter study of each describing how he or she grows anddevelops from one book to the next.Write a Descriptive PoemFrom its creation in The Magician’s Nephew to its destructionin The Last Battle, the world of Narnia is revealed inincreasingly detailed layers. Write a poem evoking the physicalworld of Narnia.Write a FantasyC. S. Lewis used the genre of fantasy to create a world in whichcharacters must regularly confront issues of good and evil,right and wrong. Write your own fantasy. Create a world basedwholly on your own imagination, filled with fanciful creaturesfacing conflicts that test their morality.Write an InterviewSuppose you could interview C. S. Lewis. Write questionsabout the books and then, based on your reading of TheChronicles of Narnia, the answers you think he would give.Create a map of the world of Narnia, showing its physicalfeatures, towns, and other places of interest. You may want toinclude drawings of some of the characters and events.Make a Narnian TimelineNarnian time moves differently from ours, and you learn alittle more about this in each book. Make two parallel timelinesshowing how much time has passed between the books—inNarnia and in

QBOOK 1THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEWWhere does the Wardrobe come from . . . and how was Narnia born?SETTING THE SCENEDigory’s uncle Andrew hasused dust from another worldto fashion magic rings that hehimself is afraid to use to exploreother worlds. But when Digoryand his new friend Polly stumbleinto Uncle Andrew’s attic, themagician is not afraid to try therings on the children! Digory andPolly are then drawn into worldsbeyond our own, where they findmany unexpected adventures.When Digory’s action in onePb 0-06-447110-1world awakens a Witch from aspell, the children’s travel between the worlds takes on a newurgency, to stop the Witch in her quest for power.QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION What are some of the different ways Lewis allows us todiscover the characters? For example, what do we learn fromhow they appear, how they act and react, what they say, andhow they contrast with one another?DISCUSS QUOTESExplain the following quotations. What do they mean incontext? What do you think of the ideas expressed? “Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from commonrules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy,is a high and lonely destiny.” (Uncle Andrew, p. 21) “Things always work according to their nature. She has wonher heart’s desire; she has unwearying strength and endlessdays like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heartis only length of misery and already she begins to know it.All get what they want; they do not always like it.” (Aslan,p. 208)JOURNAL WRITING: Sensory Images“But it was a different kind of quietness. The silence of theWood had been rich and warm (you could almost hear the treesgrowing) and full of life: this was a dead, cold, empty silence.”(p. 48)Listen for a quiet moment. Then describe the quiet. How does Lewis create a sense of place as the charactersarrive in new worlds? Through whose point of view are newplaces described? What is the Wood Between the Worlds? What effect does ithave on Polly and Digory? On the Witch and Uncle Andrew?Why? What do you think the Wood symbolizes? One of the first experiences that enters Narnia, after Aslansings it to life, is laughter. Why do you think the authordecided to establish Narnia with a joke? Why do you think Aslan sends Digory for the apple, when hecould easily make it appear? What does the choice of the Cabby as the first King of Narniaseem to say about the attributes of a good ruler?

!ow r reN ajo ictuMa nPiootMQBOOK 2THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBEStep through the wardrobe and into Narnia.SETTING THE SCENEFour siblings journey from Londonduring World War II to stay atan unusual home in the Englishcountryside. Through a forgottenwardrobe filled with musty coats,the children find the enchantedland of Narnia. A secret worldof magic and danger, Narnia isruthlessly ruled by the WhiteWitch, who has cast the land intoan eternal winter. Only the returnof the Great Lion, Aslan, can breakthe Witch’s evil spell. And a rumorPb 0-06-447104-7is spreading: Aslan is on his wayback. It is at this turbulent moment that the four children stumblethrough the wardrobe and find themselves center stage in thebattle for control of Narnia.QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION What are some individual character traits of each of the fourchildren: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy? How do theychange over the course of the story? Compare and contrast the characters of the Lion and theWitch (for example, what kinds of power they have, how theyexercise power, how they treat others, what they want). What do you think is the most courageous act shown in thisbook? Explain.EXPLORE LANGUAGEThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is written in a friendly,informal voice, in the idiom of 1940s Britain. Therefore,occasional words and phrases may be unfamiliar to Americanstudents. Examples in the first chapter include the words“wardrobe” (closet where clothes are kept), “wireless” (radio,p. 4), and “looking-glass” (mirror, p. 5). As students read,ask them to write down words and expressions that seem tocome from a different time or place. Then have them work insmall groups to discuss what these expressions mean and tocreate a two-column “translation” chart in which they includedefinitions in familiar “American” English.Lewis is wonderful at creating analogies, at helping readersunderstand something they don’t know by comparing it tosomething they might know. Examples include the longdescription of the ride on the Lion’s back (p. 180) or of thestatues coming to life again (pp. 184–5). Challenge studentsto think of something they have done or seen that others maynot have experienced. Then have volunteers try to come upwith a way to describe this to someone by comparing it tosomething that would be more familiar to them.JOURNAL WRITING: Write a FantasyImagine you slipped through a secret passage into anotherworld. Make up a fantasy about meeting someone there. Writeabout what happens and how you get back. Why do you think Edmund lies about having been to Narnia?How does lying affect him? In what ways is the Professor an unusual grown-up? Whatdo you think about his “logic”? (see p. 52) How does Edmund justify his choice to go to the WhiteWitch? Why do you think people make up excuses for doingsomething that deep inside they know is wrong? What do you think of the Professor’s advice to the childrenat the end of the book? What message might the author besending to the reader?

QBOOK 3THE HORSE AND HIS BOYWhat happened in Narnia after the White Witch was defeated?SETTING THE SCENEA boy named Shasta and a talkinghorse named Bree—separatelycaptured in youth and enslavedin Calormen—together attemptto make their escape to Narnia,a land the horse dimly recallsand the boy does not know atall. Soon they meet anotherpair of fugitives—a Calormenegirl named Aravis, escaping anarranged marriage, and the talkinghorse, Hwin. Their escape routetakes them through the wondrousPb 0-06-447106-3city of Tashbaan, where they findthemselves in the midst of a larger adventure. It falls to them tosave the lands to the North—Archenland and Narnia—from asurprise attack by the Calormenes. In the process, Shasta learnswho he really is and even finds his real father.QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION Why do you think Bree decides to talk to Shasta, after yearsof hiding the fact that he is a talking horse? What mistakes do Shasta and Aravis make about each otherand why? In what different ways do the characters show pride? Howdoes this help them? How does this hurt them? Why do you think the book is called The Horse and His Boyrather th

Talking and Non-Talking Animals What distinction is made between talking animals and non-talking animals? Why do Narnians consider it horrible to kill or eat a talking animal when it is okay to kill or eat a non-talking one? What does this say about the importance of speech to the author, or as an attribute of humanity? .

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