The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Submitted by: Barbara Colvin
These ideas were taken from Mailbox magazine June/July 1993
Introducing the book: Prepare your students for their unforgettable excursion to Narnia by cutting out five, large speech bubble shapes from white construction paper. Write one of the quotes below on each shape. Each day for the five days before students begin reading the book, post one of the speech bubbles on a bulletin board entitled "Notable Quotables." At the end of the week, tell students that each of these quotes is significant to the plot of the book or the characters being quoted. As the class reads, have students identify each quote's speaker and the quote's possible significance to the story. Allow students to add other significant quotes to the display as they read. Be sure to have students give their reasons for determining a quote's significance.
"But you are-forgive me- you are what they call a girl?"
"I think I would like to make you the Prince - some day, when you bring the others to visit me."
"They say Aslan is on the move- perhaps has already landed."
" 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good."
"She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last."
A Study in Contrasts
"The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" is rich in contrasting themes such as good/evil, life/death, sibling love/sibling rivalry, and winter/spring. After reading the first two chapters of the book, introduce the concept of contrast to students; then challenge them to identify examples of contrast as they read. List their examples on a large piece of chart paper. After students have finished the book, go back over the list to help them categorize their examples into one or more of the contrasting themes listed above.
Evaluate your students' understanding of contrast with a fun hands-on project. Give each child a coat hanger, art paper, construction paper, and colorful yarn. Have the child illustrate one of the contrasting themes with original drawings. After cutting out his pictures, the student glues them to small pieces of construction paper. He tapes each picture to one end of a yarn length; then he ties the other end of the yarn length to the hanger so that contrasting pictures are on opposite ends of the hanger. Have each child share his mobile with his cooperative group, explaining the pictures and the contrasting theme illustrated.
Mmmm- Turkish Delight
Tantalizing, tasty, and tempting Turkish Delight was poor Edmund's downfall! Most of your students have probably never heard of this jellylike confection. After reading Chapter 4, treat the class to a taste of Turkish Delight by helping students prepare the following simple recipe:
six packages (3-oz. size) of lemon, lime, or orange Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Put the Jell-O in a saucepan and add boiling water. Stir. Simmer until foamy on top. Add salt and juice. Remove from heat and pour into an eight-inch square pan. Chill until firm. Cut into one-inch squares. Toss in a sandwich bag with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Points to Ponder
Use the following thought-provoking questions as springboards for lively discussions or as ideas for a free-time writing center:
Have you ever experienced anything so unusual that no one believed you?
What did you do when no one believed you?
How would you have reacted to Lucy's story if you had been one of her siblings?
Chapters 4 & 5:
On their first visits to Narnia, both Lucy and Edmund were served food and drink. How were their experiences different? Alike?
Mr. Beaver said that Aslan wasn't safe, but he was good. Explain what you think he meant.
Edmund's greed for Turkish Delight caused him to betray his siblings to the White Witch. Describe a time when you became too greedy for your own good.
Which present given by Father Christmas to the children do you think was the most important? Why?
Why do you think Aslan didn't tell Peter, Susan, or Lucy about his plan to save Edmund from the White Witch?
What do you think Aslan privately said to Edmund after his rescue? How did this conversation seem to change Edmund?
Do you think the children ever told Edmund about all of the trouble he caused or about Aslan's sacrifice for him? Why or why not?
Would you have told him? Why or why not?