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Literature Unit Study Ideas for The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (31 Days of Literature Unit Study Ideas and Read Aloud Wednesdays Link Up)

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This post is part of the 31 Days of Literature Unit Ideas series. You can find links to all of the books in the series here. And if you would like to use this book as a literature unit, you can find a FREE printable guide below.

The book I'm sharing in today's post is one of my absolute all time favorites. It is my favorite book in one of my favorite book series- The Chronicles of Narnia. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis the sixth book chronologically in the series. It is one of the lesser known of The Chronicles, but it has such great characters and great spiritual truths that it is one I truly love.


About the book...

This book was the fourth written by Lewis in The Chronicles. It features Eustace Scrubb, who we've met in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as the cousin of the Pevensie children, and his school friend Jill Pole. As the book opens, Jill and Eustace are hiding from bullies in their school. Eustace is telling Jill about his recent trip to Narnia with his cousins when, suddenly he and Jill run through a gate and into...another world.

From there, the two head into adventures which will ultimately lead them to a captive prince. Along the way, they meet some of the great Narnian characters like we've come to appreciate in the other books. One of the most prominent is the marshwiggle named Puddleglum that guides the children on their journey.

All of the Narnian novels contain some thought-provoking spiritual truths that make for personal reading as well as for reading out loud and discussing. The Silver Chair is no exception, and I think there are so many great things to talk about in this book.


How to use this literature unit: I like to have students keep a notebook as we study a longer chapter book. In this notebook, choose and record 5-10 vocabulary words for each chapter. I also like for kids to keep a record of characters introduced throughout the book. As well, the can keep any information you print off of the internet or anything they write as you are doing your study.

Things to discuss...

  • In the very beginning when Jill is so thirsty and meets Aslan, there is symbolism that reminds us of Jesus as the Living Water. Discuss this symbolism.
  • Talk about the signs that Jill was supposed to remember. Why do you think it was so difficult for Jill to remember them?
  • Although C.S. Lewis said that the Narnia books weren't a true allegory, there are definitely symbols we can find where characters or events from the books seem to represent aspects of the Christian faith. What do you think Puddleglum could symbolize. Think about his role as an advisor to the children.
  • What are some of the strategies that the queen/witch tried to use to deceive the children? Compare those to ways that we are tempted.
  • Think about the way that Jill and Eustace always seem to blame each other when things go wrong. Is this similar to the way that we sometimes act?


History connections...

Science connections...

Language arts connections...

  • The Silver Chair is an excellent story to use a plot chart with. The rising action and climax are easy to pick out. Use this slideshow to learn about a plot chart and then plot the story with a free printable plot chart from this site.
  • If you've read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, you know that Eustace had a big change in that book. Jill changes throughout The Silver Chair but her changes aren't as obvious. Use a character timeline to see how she changes. Draw a blank timeline. Along the timeline write the chapter numbers instead of dates. Then record for each chapter a note about how Jill thinks or acts.
  • The characters in The Silver Chair are very memorable. Write about who your favorite character from the story is and why.
  • Imagine yourself as a news reporter. Write an article describing the events that occurred when the children find the prince in the silver chair.


Other resources...

Booklist...


If you'd like to use this book as a literature unit study, you can find a FREE printable guide here.


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