Tag Archives: Narnia story

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

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  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
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  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

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  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
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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

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  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

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  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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Writing Strategies session #7: Friday, June 4th, 2010

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  1. Handout on Aristotle (A is A).
  2. Guidelines for book report #1 –
    1. in Japanese, because I want to encourage students to read other books about C.S. Lewis.
    2. presentations on June 18th. Presentations in Japanese, 2-4 minutes in length
    3. you must give me the title of the book you read using the MLA style. Here is an example. Let’s say you read this book: カスピアン王子のつのぶえ You would write, C.S.Ruisu. kasupian ooji no tsunobue. Trans. Teiji Seita. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2000.
  3. Questions for chapter 6.
  4. Summary of chapter 6.
  5. Questions for chapter 7.

Homework: read chapters 8 and 9 and answer the questions. (Download the questions for chapter 8 and for chapter 9 from Google Docs.)

Write  summary of chapter 7.

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Writing Strategies session #6: Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Christmas Robin...:O)
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  1. Returned last week’s homework. List of C.S. Lewis books in the DWC library – list ALL the books which are in English AND the books which are in Japanese in the library. If your homework has an X on it, please do the assignment again CORRECTLY.
  2. Chapter 4 and 5 discussion questions.
  3. Write a summary of chapter 5 (dictation).
  4. Mini-lecture: how do we know what we know?
    1. A key point in the story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is the matter of knowledge and belief.
    2. Some things we can know, some things we cannot really know, we must believe them (or not); we must either rely on and believe other people, or we mus rely on and believe our own heart or conscience.
    3. What can we know and what cannot we know? What can we know and what must we believe? How can we tell the difference?
    4. For example, is it raining now? We can know by looking out the window or opening the window. We do not need to believe. It would be stupid to believe when we can know for ourselves. We should not believe or rely on other people when we can confirm facts for ourselves.
    5. On the other hand, where are you now? In Japan? In Kyoto? How do you know? In fact, you do not know, you cannot know, you can only believe. This is Japan because everyone agrees that it is Japan. In such a case, we would waste a lot of time if we insisted on confirming for ourselves; we can save time by believing, by relying on other people.
    6. To know something for ourselves means to check, using our own 5 senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting).
    7. Another way to know something instead of believing, is to use logic, as the Professor does.
    8. In chapter 6, Edmund asksPeter, “How do we know which side [the robin] is on?” It is an intelligent question. In this case, logic is not the answer. It is impossible to know, to confirm for oneself. The only thing to do is to trust one’s instinct or listen to one’s heart.


  1. Read C.S. Lewis. “It All Began With a Picture”. Of Other Worlds. Ed. Walter Hooper. Orlando: Harvest, 1975. 42
  2. Answer the questions for chapter 6 and chapter 7.
  3. If you were absent on Friday and did not hand in your homework for last week, you must either email me your homework or give it to me next Friday. Next Friday is the last day I will accept it.
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Writing Strategies session #5: Friday, May 21st, 2010

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  1. Returned quizzes on chapters 2 & 3.
  2. Returned homework from session #3. Comments:
    1. Read the instructions. The instructions were to write three paragraphs to answer the question, “What is a fairy tale?”
    2. Lucy Barfield is not Lewis’ daughter or granddaughter.
    3. Comparison. Which is the more useful comparison:
      1. Compare human beings with monkeys;
      2. compare human beings with rice-cakes.
    4. #1 is more useful. Why? Because human beings are similar to monkeys. Therefore, a comparison is useful: it can lead to new knowledge, new insights and understanding. Human beings and rice-cakes are too different. A comparison between them is unlikely to reveal new knowledge or insights.
  3. Reading and writing. Comprehension questions to chapter 4 and chapter 5.


  1. Choose a book by C.S. Lewis in Japanese translation to read and write a report about by the end of this semester. Tell me the book you have chosen next Friday. If you are absent on Friday, please email me your chosen book title. You cannot change your choice after you have told me, unless I tell you to choose a different book.
  2. Research and write two paragraphs in English about the history of the fairy-tale.
  3. Write the information about the movie of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” using the MLA style (see your MLA textbook, page 9, #38).
  4. Read and make notes on chapter 6.
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Writing Strategies session #4: Friday, May 14th, 2010

  1. Discuss your homework answers with your neighbour.
  2. Hand in your homework.
  3. Chapter summaries. Your summaries are mostly too detailed. Give only the important information.
  4. Using the proper format, take in dictation sample summaries for chapters 1, 2 and 3.
  5. Chapter 4: read and translate. We read and translated up to page 39 (top paragraph).


  1. For next week (May 21st): go to DWC library and list all the books – in both English and Japanese translations –  by C.S. Lewis. Divide your list into fiction and non-fiction titles.
  2. Borrow from the DWC library at least two books by C.S.Lewis in Japanese translation and begin reading them.
    1. You must read one book by C.S. Lewis in Japanese and write a report about it this semester.
    2. The book can be either fiction or non-fiction.
    3. Any title is OK except the two textbooks (“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Magician’s Nephew”).
    4. Choose your book by session #6, May 28th.
  3. Finish reading chapter 4 and write a short summary of it in English.
  4. Read and prepare chapter 5.
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