We’re thrilled to introduce our newest Read-Aloud Poster for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, written by C. S. Lewis, with illustrations by Pauline Baynes. This classic was originally published in 1950 as one book in the beloved series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Publisher guidance says “8 - 12 years,” but we do think both older and younger listeners will enjoy it, depending on experience and development.
If you’re not familiar with this story, four siblings - Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) enter the land of Narnia through a wardrobe. There they meet the White Witch, who makes it “always winter and never Christmas,” and Aslan, the great lion, on a journey that requires great sacrifice and brings about great change. Whether you’re reading it for the first time or the tenth, we think adults and children alike will find something to love in this classic tale.
We had so much fun designing this poster. It has a working wardrobe door and many features that you’ve told us you love in our Read-Aloud Posters, as well as some new activities that bring out the unique features of this much-loved classic. As always, the full details are in the Activity Guide that comes with each poster, but we’re also making available a printable bookmark that will give you chapter-by-chapter activity suggestions. Download it here. Please recognize that these are just suggestions - go at your own pace, and leave things out if you need to do less.
And now, an overview of what you can look forward to on our Read-Aloud Poster for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
Reader Signatures and Ratings:
We start and end every poster with our Reader Signature block. Start here by having everyone sign their name (yes, you too!) as a co-book reader and poster-completer; come back at the end to give your star rating and talk about what you liked (and didn’t like) about the book. Book evaluation discussions are great times to give evidence to support your opinions, as well as practice being kind and respectful to other readers whose opinions might differ from yours. Bonus for grown-ups: listen for clues to help you be an even better book-matchmaker for your kids!
There are some pretty big ideas in this book! One of the best things about reading together is being able to talk about the book. As you think of answers to the questions, write them on the provided sticky notes and stack them on the question spot until you’re ready to discuss. Some questions refer to specific chapter content, while others are overarching questions you’ll want to revisit as you read.
Chapter Tracker Panels:
Chapter trackers are a tried and true Read-Aloud Poster feature, but we’ve made them extra-special for this poster, and the result is a fantastic discussion starter. Around the outside of the poster is a series of panels with “carved” images, one for each chapter. As you finish reading the chapter, color the corresponding panel, and have fun discussing: Why was that image chosen for that chapter? Do you think that was a good choice? What would you have chosen if you were creating the chapter?
Open the wardrobe door, and you’re inside Narnia! Create your own character markers, and use them to mark the journey of the characters through Narnia as you read. You’ll also have fun coloring the scenery and adding those important details that we’ve left up to you.
In Other Words:
As you read, you’ll notice that some of the words are familiar to you, but they might be used in a different way than you would normally use them. You know what a “beast” is, but “beastly?” The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was written about characters in 1940s England (and Narnia), a fact that is reflected in the author’s use of language. This is a fun opportunity to “translate” from the book to words and expressions you might use today.
Here’s a space to collect some of the wonderful words the author uses. What is a faun? What color is scarlet? Write down the new words you find particularly interesting, and then use context clues or a dictionary to find out what they mean.
Fill in the blanks on some memorable quotes and use them as a discussion starter. Why is that quote important to the story? You might not fully realize why some quotes are particularly meaningful until a bit later in the story. Be patient and come back to discuss as you are ready.
Character Portraits and Mapping:
The inside of the wardrobe door has frames for you to draw portraits of some of the most important characters and identify their character traits. As you read, draw lines between characters to show how they are connected. You’ll find that the lines between some characters change over the course of the story; have fun showing these relationships!
There’s a lot to do in this poster! As always, feel free to make it your own and do those activities that are most appealing to you! (We don’t give points for completeness. :))
Our hope is that the poster activities help you and your family more fully appreciate this beloved story. And, we always love to hear from you. What types of activities would you like to see more of? What do you hope we include on every poster? Shoot us an e-mail and let us know!