Lesson Plan: The ‘Narnia’ Shield of Symbolism
Duration: 1 – 2 hours following reading the Narnia books or watching the films.
Age group: Highly variable depending on how far and complex you wish to dig into the symbolism to be. For example younger students may wish to identify Aslan as a representation of all that is good in Narnia, whilst older students may point to the many references to Narnia as a portrayal of Jesus who was killed and resurrected. It is entirely up to your discretion.
Learning Intention: To assist students in identifying the symbolism from the books and the films of the Narnia series, and providing them with the tools to demonstrate their understanding of symbolism.
Intro: Many stories have characters and objects who symbolize behaviors, people and actions in society. For instance if we look at the Batman series what does the ‘Joker’ symbolize and how does he do it. Let’s brainstorm this.
If Students are struggling you might want to prompt them with these ideas. (see sparknotes for a very detailed description of the symbolism of Narnia. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/lion/themes.html )
It is then up to you determine who much you wish to dissect the symbols your students have selected. They may even want to take notes on them. This could go for a brief or long time…
Activity: “Today we are going to create a symbolism shield in which you are going to select 4 objects or people from the Narnia stories and create an image of them on one side and on the back you will write a brief explanation of what the meaning of that symbolism is. This both an artistic and written task so be sure to put in your best effort.”
Show them the empty shield template. (best printed large on A3)
Students then select, draw rough copies of each symbol and write a draft of the symbolism. When you are happy with it the may have a template to fill out.
Assessment: You are essentially assessing students for their understanding of symbolism and how well they linked their object with an external concept.
Extension Activities: Students can stand up and present their shields reading from the back. Alternately they can create a symbol that signifies one of the characters from the stories.