My son just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so when a chance to review the book and Study Guide for Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis came up, I wanted to use it as reinforcement and to help my son understand the author better. This is part of the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. The publishing company and authors have chosen to highlight incredible Christians from all over the world who have reached others with the message of God in extraordinary ways.
We have reviewed many other books from YWAM Publishing in the past, including Heroes of History- John Adams, Heroes of History- Thomas Edison, and Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire. These were from the Heroes of History series. Both dynamic series from YWAM Publishing are best enjoyed by students (and their parents!) aged 10 and up, but we have read many of them as a family with younger children as well.
C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller
We received the paperback book C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller by Janet & Geoff Benge, as well as the downloadable unit study to accompany the text.
The chapter book has 17 chapters across 192 pages. At the beginning, it includes a map of the British Isles. There are no illustrations, but it is a pleasant and pretty easy read. I assigned my son one or two chapters per day to read the book to find out more about this iconic author’s life.
My 5th grade son was surprised to learn that C.S. Lewis fought in World War I. He also told me that it surprised him that Lewis went from one university to the next to try to appease his father, but also have the opportunity to go to the one he chose for himself. Eventually, Lewis (referred to throughout the story as Jack) won a first-class degree in classical studies and in literature.
The story continues, and it gives more insight into his life and how and why he wrote some of the most recognizable literature in modern history. He lived through more war, became a celebrity with his fame from speaking on the radio on the BBC, was a caregiver, wrote and wrote and wrote some more, and carried more responsibilities than my son or I ever realized about the author. You’ll have to read it for yourself to see how all of the pieces fit together. He had a very full life.
C. S. Lewis – Unit Study Curriculum Guide
The unit study came as a downloadable .zip file. Once I unzipped the contents, the following screen is what appeared.
Once you click on the Curriculum Unit Study link, you can access parts 1 and 2 of the unit study. These files are in PDF form. Part 1 contains 82 pages of content as outlined on the Contents page below. Part 2 is simply a PDF of the Social Studies Reproducibles, including a United Kingdom Fact Sheet, and maps of Europe and the United Kingdom.
There are so many different activities to do to enrich the study of the book’s Christian hero. I love that the guide addresses many different learning styles, and has activities adaptable for using with individuals or within group studies. If you chose to do this book as a group for a co-op, or with multiple children at once, there would be plenty of choices for furthering their understanding of the material.
There are activities listed that would be good for younger kids as well as older students or adults. For example, the chapter entitled Culminating Event talks about different ways you could host an event to feature things relative to British life and the achievements of C.S. Lewis. Younger children would love helping to plan a tea time party or to play traditional British children’s games. Readers of all ages could have a great time implementing any number of the suggestions.
You can assign your older students a whole host of assignments. As they read, you could work on vocabulary, map work, and chapter questions. You could assign some of the essay topics or creative writing prompts that the unit study provides. You could have your children memorize key Bible verses. Students could create a display with visual presentations about C.S. Lewis and his life, the places he lived, the activities he participated in, the people he loved, the books he wrote, and so on. There are a great deal of open ended ideas, as well as a large number of explicit questions and assignments. Type A and Type B parents and students will have no difficulty finding ways to use the Unit Study guide.
YWAM Publishing sent many different books to other Review Crew families from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now and Heroes of History series. Click the banner below to explore some of the other exceptional titles to enrich your homeschool studies.