Tag Archives: CSLewis

Writing Strategies II, Session #4: October 22nd, 2010

Today in class:

  1. Study Guide p. 5 questions 10 & 11 (about curiosity): translate the questions and write your answers.
  2. Vocabulary – study guide pages 16-18. I won’t test you on the vocabulary, but I expect you to know these words.
  3. Study Guide page 19-20, questions 1-4:  translate the questions and write your answers on looseleaf paper.
  4. We read most of chapter 3 in class today.


  1. Study Guide page 45-7, Summary Questions: translate all the questions (1-10).
  2. Study Guide page 20-22: answer questions 5 – 14 (but NOT question 10) on separate paper (not on the Study Guide).

Cultural background.

Here are some photos of things that appear in “The Magician’s Nephew“.

A row of town houses in London. Digory and Polly may have lived in one of these. Can you imagine the tunnel under the roof, connecting all the houses in a row?
Case Side Half Open
Perhaps Digory’s penknife looked like this. He used his penknife to cut a mark in the grass so that they could remember which pool to take to go home.

Flickr has 5,976 results for a search for “wood between the worlds”. This phrase has obviously captured the imagination of a lot of people around the world. Which one do you like? This one?
The wood between the worlds.
Or perhaps this one?
wood between the worlds

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<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/timmenzies/263806788/” title=”The wood between the worlds. by timmenzies, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/79/263806788_394cf6dd3a.jpg” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”The wood between the worlds.” /></a>

Writing Strategies II, Session #3: October 15th, 2010

Rolltop Desk
Image by Kamintra via Flickr

Homework: (for October 22nd)

  1. Answer question 9, Study Guide page 14. Write your answer as a comment on this blog (in either Japanese or English). Deadline is Wednesday October 20th, 6 p.m.
  2. Read chapters 3, 4, 5. If you do not read these chapters, you will be unable to take part in the class discussion next week.
  3. Study Guide p. 22: read questions 12-14 and read the Bible passages (in Japanese).

In today’s class, we:

  1. checked the homework (Study Guide p. 8),
  2. had a vocab quiz on the words on page 9,
  3. translated the passages on page. 11,
  4. filled in the table about Uncle Andrew on page 12,
  5. answered the questions on page 13
  6. answered questions 7 and 8 on page 14.
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Writing Strategies II, Session #2: October 8th, 2010

Update: Homework 2, 2. Everyone, please just write a summary of what the Bible says about magic. Do not write your opinion.

  1. Receive your copy of the Study Guide for this semester’s text.
  2. Deadline for all online assignments (blog comments, emailed reports, etc) is by Wednesday, 18:00.
  3. Today’s class:
    1. Read pages 8-13 of the study guide, and translated the questions into Japanese.
  4. Homework 2 (for next week, session #3, October 15th): read “The Magician’s Nephew“, chapters 1 and 2.
    1. Read the Book of Genesis in the Bible, chapters 1, 2 and 3. This tells the story of the creation of our world.
    2. (Study Guide, page 8, question #2) Read the passages from the Bible and answer the question in Japanese in one paragraph, and write your answer on the class blog as a comment. Deadline: Wednesday, October 13th, 18:00.
    3. (Study Guide) Look up the words on page 9. Test next week.
    4. (Study Guide) p. 11-12. Translate the quotations 1-5 into Japanese.
    5. (Study Guide) p. 13. Translate the questions 1-6 and answer the questions 3-6 (write your answers directly on the Study Guide).
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Writing Strategies II, Session #1: October 1st, 2010

The Magician's Nephew
Image via Wikipedia

Update: I encourage you to read the Japanese translation of The Magician’s Nephew:

魔術師のおい―ナルニア国ものがたり〈6〉 (岩波少年文庫)

Dear Writing Strategies students,

  1. October 1st was our first class. As most students had  bought the textbook, we began reading the story. We read pages 1-4
  2. We watched the first part of a movie about the love story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham. The movie is called “Shadowlands” in English and 「永遠(とわ)の愛に生きて Shadowlands」 in Japanese. You can read more about it in Japanese here.
    1. We watched up to where Joy Gresham and her son Douglas come to C.S. Lewis’ home in Oxford for Christmas.
  3. Use the Internet to help you find images that will help you understand the story that we are reading. For example, what is an Eton collar?
  4. Homework:
    1. Visit this blog and leave a comment (sign up for the feed if you want)
    2. Read chapter 1 (at least to page 10)
    3. Who and when was
      1. Sherlock Holmes? (日本語で読みたい方は日本語のWikipediaへどうぞ
      2. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? (日本語で読みたい方は日本語のWikipediaへどうぞ). Conan Doyle lived in my hometown from 1907 until his death in July 1930, in a house called Windlesham.
      3. the Bastables?

I will give you study guides for this semester’s text. I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

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If you have any problems with this website, please email me, or tell me in class.

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Writing Strategies session #13: Friday, July 16th, 2010

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Checked answers to quiz questions for chapters 15, 16 and 17.
  2. The homework 2 weeks ago was to compare the deaths of Aslan and of Jesus. Out of 23 students, only 1 student answered this question correctly. Why?
  3. Personal interviews with students about their outstanding assignments.
  4. Homework questions:
    1. Why is “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” still popular today?
    2. Why is this book studied at university?

Next week is the final exam.

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Writing Strategies session #12: Friday, July 9th, 2010

A lion being used to represent Aslan
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Final exam. In the final exam, on the last day, July 23rd, you will
    1. write a summary of the whole book, so
      1. prepare by gathering together all your chapter summaries
      2. N.B.: in the exam, you will not have time to simply copy out all your chapter summaries – you must write a summary of the summaries.
    2. answer some quiz questions about the story, so
      1. gather together your answers to all the quiz.
    3. write something you learned in this class about children’s literature, fairy-tales, C.S. Lewis, etc., so
      1. gather together what you wrote about these topics and your notes to my mini-lectures.
  2. Quiz questions for chapter 16:
    1. What did Aslan do to the statues in the Witch’s  palace?
    2. How did Aslan get into the Witch’s palace?
    3. Which old friend did Lucy find?
    4. What did Aslan ask the Giant to do?
    5. Who was fighting with the Witch?
    6. What was he using?
    7. What was she using?
    8. Who killed the Witch?
    9. How?
  3. Quiz questions for chapter 17:
    1. Who broke the Witch’s wand?
    2. What does Aslan say to Lucy when they find Edmund?
    3. Why?
    4. Does Edmund know what Aslan did for him?
    5. What did Aslan do for him?
    6. Where did they all go the day after the battle?
    7. What did they do at the beach?
    8. What did they do the next day?
    9. Who brought the news that the White Stag had “once more appeared”?
    10. What magic power does the Stag have?
    11. Do the children catch the Stag?
    12. What do they find in the forest that reminds them of home?
    13. Why did the children go to the Professor?
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Writing Strategies session #11: Friday, July 2nd, 2010

photograph of george macdonald, taken in the 1...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Writing. Summaries of chapters 8-11.
  2. Share the words and pictures that you researched for homework.
  3. Reading, writing. Questions for chapters 12-13.


  1. Finish writing the summaries for chapters 8-11.
  2. Answer the questions for chapters 14-15.
  3. Translate the passage below.

    “It goes beyond the expression of things we have already felt. It arouses in us sensations we have never had before, never anticipated having, as though we had broken out of our normal mode of consciousness and “possessed joys not promised to our birth.”  It gets under our skin, hits us at a level deeper than our thoughts or even our passions, troubles oldest certainties till all questions are reopened, and in general shocks us more fully awake that we are for most of our lives.” (from the Foreword to George MacDonald by C.S. Lewis)

  4. Read the Passion of Christ in the New Testament: The Passion begins at Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 12 (see English Wikipedia here:  and in Japanese here).
  5. What are the points of similarity between Christ’s Passion and Aslan’s?
  6. Any comments about today’s class? You can leave comments here, in English or Japanese, or send me an email.
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Writing Strategies session #10: Friday, June 25th, 2010

Screwtape Letters
Image by DaveBleasdale via Flickr

There were no absences today. Well done!

(The picture on the right is the cover of Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”. My father had this book on his bookshelf when I was a child. He recommended it to me, but I was not interested in it. I am reading this book now, thirty years later. I felt nostalgic when I saw this picture, so I used it here.)

  1. Homework #1: Please type your comments to last week’s book reports on the blog.
    1. Please protect your own privacy: this is a public blog. Do not use your full name: use your family name only, or given name only, or use a nickname or pen-name.
    2. Your email address is not visible to visitors (only the site administrator sees this).
    3. If you use an email address that you used before, your comment will appear immediately without delay. If you use a new email address, your comment will be held for approval by the site administrator (me!).
  2. Reading and checking homework: chapter 10 and 11.
  3. Book reports: we had the last two book reports today: The Last Battle and The Screwtape Letters. The Screwtape Letters was a very popular book, and was read by many people. Before that, Lewis was not well known except to other academics (professors) and students of English Literature. His BBC broadcasts (1944) were so popular that he was asked to do more. He collected his talks into a book called Mere Christianity キリスト教の世界。In these talks, he talked to ordinary people about Christianity.
  4. Homework #2: I assigned each student 2 words or phrases from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Please check the Japanese meaning of your words. Next week, bring to class the meaning, a picture or photograph to illustrate the words/phrases, and (if you got the illustration from the Internet) the URL (web address) where you got the illustration.
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Writing Strategies session #9: Friday, June 18th, 2010

Christmas pudding decorated with skimmia rathe...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Oral reports: tell us about the C.S. Lewis book you read. Also, give me the reference for the book you read, using the MLA format. A big thank you to all of you who presented today. I especially want to thank those of you who read some more difficult books, e.g. Till We Have Faces (顔を持つまで), Out of the Silent Planet (in Japanese 沈 黙の惑星を離れて―マラカンドラ 火星編 (別世界物語)) and Mere Christianity (キリスト教の世界). I hope you will be inspired to read more.
  2. Mini-lecture on some key ideas or themes in C.S. Lewis’ books:
    1. Seeing and believing. In “Prince Caspian“, at first only Lucy can see Aslan while the older children do not, and they do not believe Lucy at first. In “Till We Have Faces” 顔を持つまで, the older sister Orual cannot see the palace where her beautiful sister, Psyche, lives, because Orual is jealous and does not accept that Psyche can be happy without her. In the New Testament, in Matthew 5:8, it is written “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Perhaps Lewis’ message is that the pure in heart can see certain things that others (who are not pure in heart) cannot see.
    2. Natural Law. Lewis believed that there was a natural law that all people everywhere understood. This law is deeper than religion, because it can be found in almost every religion on Earth. In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Lewis writes about Edmund on page 97, “deep down inside him he really knew the Witch was bad and cruel.” There is more to the Natural Law than this, but this is a good example of it.

Homework: Quiz questions for chapters 10 and 11:

Chapter 10 questions:


  1. Which of the following things could the Beavers not take?
    • ham, tea, sugar, loaves, matches, handkerchiefs, sewing machine
  2. At the Beavers’ house, which character stayed calm?
  3. Can the Beavers and the children get to the Stone Table before the witch? Why/why not?
  4. Was it snowing when they began their journey?
  5. What did they do in “the old hiding place for beavers”?
  6. What presents did Father Christmas give to
    • Peter?
    • Susan?
    • Lucy?
    • everyone?
  7. Who is “the true King”?

Chapter 11 questions:


  1. What sort of time had Edmund been having?
  2. Was the Witch nice to him?
  3. Did she give him Turkish Delight?
  4. What did she give him to eat and drink?
  5. What should Maugrim do to whatever he finds in the Beavers’ house?
  6. Could the wolves follow the children’s trail? Why/why not?
  7. Why was Edmund cold in the sledge?
  8. Who gave the animals the plum pudding?
  9. What does the Witch do to the animals?
  10. What does Edmund say just before she does this?
  11. How does the Witch react when she sees the animals eating and drinking and enjoying themselves?
  12. What happens to the weather?
  13. “Winter is over, spring has come.” Why?

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Writing Strategies session #8: Friday, June 11th, 2010

Title page of the first edition of John Milton...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Discuss your answers to chapter 8 and 9 discussion questions with your partner.
  2. Teacher’s comments on last week’s discussion questions.
  3. Checked the answers to chapters 8 and 9 quiz questions.
  4. Mini-lecture: the change in children’s reading. For about 2,500 years, until the late 17th century in England, there were no children’s books. Children who learned to read began reading the famous classic works of literature. These are what C.S. Lewis read as a boy. He read Latin and Greek and so read Homer and Virgil in the original languages:

Homework: Finish reading your book by C.S. Lewis and prepare a short oral report (about 2 minutes) for next class. If possible, bring the actual book to class. Give the main points of the book, and tell us if you liked it or not and why.

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