When I think of C.S. Lewis, my mind immediately goes to Narnia. I see little Lucy making her way through the snowy lands of Narnia, meeting Mr. Tumnus, and falling asleep by the dancing fire…
Until recently I hadn’t given Clive Staples Lewis much more credit beyond The Chronicles of Narnia. It turns out that C.S. Lewis penned more than 70 books, including several essays that were compiled after his death in 1963. My newly acquired knowledge was found in C.S. Lewis: Master Story Teller from the YWAM Publishing Christian Heroes: Now & Then series. We were given the opportunity to review the book and accompanying Unit Study Curriculum Guide. We received the physical book and Unit Study CD.
C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller Unit Study Review
C.S. Lewis fought in WW1, was good friends with J.R.R Tolkien, and terrible at math. Did you know that? I sure didn’t. I’ve learned so much about him, about history, and been inspired to read more of his works. After reading the biography, I’ve been surprised at some of the origins and ideas behind many of his books.
The 189-page softcover book has 17 chapters and is a very enjoyable read.
Seriously… I read it three days.
My original idea for the reiew period was to have Jules (my 13 year old) read it and us discuss the study guide together. As with most books I give her to read, I skimmed through and checked for non-kid friendly material. I didn’t suspect I would find any in this particular book but habits are hard to break. Not only is the book perfectly fit for children to read, it is great for parents too! I chose a random chapter to sample and was sucked in… I had to read it all.
As with any biography, it began with Lewis’ early childhood. From the age of two, he insisted that everyone call him Jack. The name stuck with him for the rest of his life. Though his life wasn’t particularly adventurous, it was definitely eventful.
Some surprising facts about Jack Lewis:
- Before he reached the age of nine, Jack had created an imaginary country called Boxen. He wrote books of history and novels about his pretend creatures and places.
- He left the traditional school and was homeschooled by a family friend for the last couple years of high school.
- Surprised by Joy (one of his books) was NOT written about his wife, Joy.
- C.S. Lewis was a member of three secret clubs… one of which was where his Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings began!
- Mere Christianity is a compilation of his war-time radio broadcast shows.
Below you’ll find the only known surviving audio of Lewis’ radio broadcasts.
After reading the book, I became enthralled with C.S. Lewis! He’s simply fascinating! His change from confirmed bachelor and atheist to Christian family man is amazing. You’ll never believe where he was when he got saved. I’ll give you a hint… it involves a zoo!
C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller is an excellent book! Now let’s discuss the Study Guide…
Unit Study Curriculum Guide
While I received a CD, YWAM is phasing them out and will soon be all digital downloads. Which really works just as well and is more convenient.
In the Study Guide you will find:
- key Bible verses to use as a devotional
- instructions and ideas for a display table for all things C.S. Lewis and his time
- 6 questions for each chapter to discuss (or do independently)
- research projects that evolve Lewis’ work
- deductive thinking questions that result in creative writing
- play writing about his life
- and MUCH more!
Perhaps my favorite hands-on project was…
- social studies
- reading comprehension… the list goes on and on…
It truly is an all encompassing unit study. I have quite enjoyed getting to know Mr. Lewis and look forward to seeing him in Heaven. I can only imagine how interesting our conversations will be!!
YWAM Publishing offers over forty books in the Christian Heroes: Now & Then series. Be sure to check them all out!