Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew

The Beginning of a Magical World...
Did you know there's a story before The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Of course there is! How did Narnia begin? How did there come to be an entrance from our world to the world of Narnia? Find out in The Magician's Nephew, C.S. Lewis' prequel to the Chronicles of Narnia that you know. In this book, meet Digory and Polly and follow them through their adventures discovering other worlds started all because of  a trek to the abandoned house next door. Instead of exploring the house, they end up in Uncle Andrew's study. What has Uncle Andrew cooked up? Is this why Digory hears strange noises in the night? Who knew how much magic 2 yellow rings and 2 green rings could possess? Find out in this fantastic start to the Chronicles of Narnia.

*New Feature*
Reading Level:  Flesch-Kincaid Index 5.7
I will be adding reading level to my previous posts as well

Teachers... Here are some ideas and resources to help you to teach this novel...

Web Resources:
  • Literature Study: This site contains a lot of good information. I recommend the characters, summary, spelling/vocab word and study questions sections, broken down by each chapter. There are other sections to connect across the curriculum but most of the ideas are very loosely based on the chapters, so ere on the side of caution with those links. This site also has the same type of links by chapter for the other books in the Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Teaching Guide: This guide has an overview of the entire Chronicles of Narnia with many ideas for activities as well as a section for each book in the series.
  • Discussion Guide: This guide provides discussion questions for reading groups that go with each of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Vocabulary: Here are some words I thought may need to be pretaught: cistern, pantomime, dingy, indignant, asylum, preposterous, dotty, treachery, hansom, minion, delirium, ostentatious, sagacious, shied, cataracts, conceited, coronation, tyrants.

Before Reading:
  • If students have read (or watched) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, explain what a prequel is and have students predict what happened before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
  • Help students learn what a good reader does, model examining the picture on the cover and make a prediction out loud to the class. Then have half the students make a prediction based on the title while the other half of the class makes a prediction based on what is written on the back of the book. Be sure to share predictions. Have students write a sentence or two about their predictions so they can compare those predictions to what really happens in the novel.
During Reading: Have students create a double entry journal. This can be created by simply folding a piece of paper into 2 sections and labeling one section: The book says and the other section: I say. Under "The book says" the student writes down a passage that they think is important, confusing, etc. Under "I say" the students write why they thought this passage was important, confusing, what they think it means, etc. Ask students to write 1-2 entries per chapter.

After Reading: The last chapter of The Magician's Nephew tells a little bit about the future of Narnia, but it does not fill in all the details between when Digory and Polly leave Narnia to when "another child" finds Narnia. Write a story to fill the gaps. We know Digory becomes a professor and that he and Polly keep in contact after he moves away, but what else happens? Write a story about Digory and Polly and what happens with them after their adventures in Narnia ended.

Lewis, C. S. (1955). The Magician's Nephew . New York: HarperCollins.

Happy Reading (&Running) =)


  1. I am thrilled that you are continuing to add to your BLOG. This Rocks!!

    Susannah Richards

  2. I'm so happy you're still checking it out :)


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