Are your teens reading Lewis this year? What kind of writing should teens do with CS Lewis Literature?
What Kind of Writing Should Teens Do With CS Lewis Literature?
One of my homeschool high schoolers’ favorite Literature-topic years was the year we spent studying the fiction of CS Lewis. We not only studied his fiction but we extended their learning by including Lewis-type themes in their writing. Here’s how we did it:
First off, here’s what we read.
In the fall semester, we read:
- The Chronicles of Narnia (This is only a high school literature if you include a high-school level study guide for each book in the series). Of course, our favorite study guides are 7Sisters Chronicles of Narnia guides because they develop great Language Arts skills and thinking skills without killing the book.)
- Screwtape Letters
- If we had time, we’d add another Lewis favorite (each of my teens has been different). We’ve included one of the following (none of which are fiction, but did enrich that teen’s Lewis experience).
- Mere Christianity
- Surprised by Joy
In the spring semester, we read:
- The Space Trilogy
- Poems by CS Lewis
Now for the writing that can go along with the fiction your teens are reading.
In the fall, we began the work on a myth-fantasy short story.
Do create a good myth-fantasy, your teen needs an excellent backstory (or what Lewis would call a *subcreation*). We would use 7Sisters APA Research Paper Writing Guide and 7Sisters Myth-Fantasy Short Story Guide.
The Myth-Fantasy Short Story Writing Guide guides your teen through the same writing process that CS Lewis used to write The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s a format to these myth-fantasy stories, so once teens learn the format, they can truly write that genre. These really are delightful writing assignments!
Here’s the fun:
We combined the 2 writing projects into one by making the APA Research Paper a totally fictional paper about the subcreation my teens were creating for week 1 of the Short Story guide.
Using the APA format, my homeschool high schoolers created:
- A world with map and written geographic descriptions
- *People* groups with descriptions
- A history of that world
- Famous *people* of that world’s history
- *Current events* in that world
- A fictional reference list and in-text *citations*
Of course, we did not finish this in one week. To complete the entire project (APA Research Paper and Myth-Fantasy Short Story) took the entire fall semester.
After they finished their full research paper, my homeschool high schoolers completed their Myth-Fantasy Short Story Guide by writing a 5 (or more) page story based on that subcreation.
My teens have been so proud of both projects! They had great APA experience and Myth-Fantasy experience and they had fun. (Note: We also did real, non-fiction APA papers other years. AND my teens who were aiming for honors credits wrote a second APA-style paper: a biography of Lewis or history of England during his life.)
In the spring semester, we wrote:
- Essays based on the themes suggested by 7Sisters Literature Study Guides for The Space Trilogy. Of course, we used 7Sisters’ Essay Writing Guides. (I picked a guide according to my teen’s level at the time: Introductory, Intermediate or Advanced.)
- Poetry using 7Sisters’ Poetry Writing Guides (I picked a guide according to my teen’s level at the time: Introductory, Intermediate or Advanced.)
In this way, we covered the requirements for Language Arts (both reading, writing, vocabulary, editing). If we were covering Lewis for the year in co-op, a public speaking experience would be included also.
Your teens will have fun, gain great Literature experience and lots of powerful thinking and writing skills when you do a year of CS Lewis with them!
Check our our Authoritative Guide on High School Writing Requirements and for a in-depth discussion on goals and grading writing assignments for homeschool high school, check out this post.