"Journey through Narnia" program
Children begin to accept “actors” as real Narnians, which leads them to ask such questions as «Hey, Edmund, how did you dare to betray your family? It’s because of you Aslan was so cruelly killed!». Narnia becomes real, and that helps children to start accepting right life values.
After one of those camps we interviewed a girl named Vironica; this is what she said: «I love Narnia, I love our camp! It was very interesting and exciting. We made a lot of interesting crafts, drew coats of arms. Narnian Quartet songs were so cool! I loved all the characters. Aslan is very kind and honest. He forgave Edmund and defeated the White Witch. We can meet him in our world. We just need to learn how to recognize him under a different name».
Andrey, 16. «I love Aslan, Mister Tumnus and…Edmund. The program helped me to start reading, I am reading the Silver Chair now and I love it. The four days changed me".
Sometimes we are invited to prepare a lesson dedicated to a special event or a national holiday, and we do it along with the characters of the Chronicles. So we created a series of lessons dedicated to the special dates: The Knowledge Day, International Children’s Day, Defender of the Motherland Day (courage lesson), Orthodox Christian books Day, Easter. We illustrate events with Narnia events or characters, some of them are children with their own temper, behavior, relationships, highs and lows. Connection with the stories which happened in Narnia provides a deeper understanding of the meaning of different life matters.
Have you ever met a child who does not like watching movies? To impact children’s lives we decided to capitalise on this fact, combining learning with fun! We launch out on a voyage of discovery of Narnia. But, you may ask, what is Narnia?
We begin with showing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe film, divided into three parts (one part for each lesson); then we challenge children to check what they remembered and whether they were observant viewers. So at the end of each lesson we hold a quiz. We award the best answers with colourful cards of pictures from Narnia movie. In the end of the lesson those who collected the most cards are awarded special prizes.
In the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe story C.S. Lewis (a famous British writer) "sends" four child Blitz survivors from London to the magic country of Narnia where they encounter awesome adventures. Two brothers and two sisters face dangers and are challenged to make right choices, have friendships tested and show their courage. The story shows parallels with reality and examples of courage, faithfulness, boldness and forgiveness.
During the Journey we encourage children to start thinking critically using different exercises, related to the film and the book.
We tell kids about the life and work of C.S. Lewis and encourage them to try their own writer’s talent. We have found a few young writers: two school-girls wrote wonderful poems about Narnia.
A piece of drama helps to «make a visit» to Narnia, and experience the feelings of some characters as well as to try acting skills. For example, Lucy and Mr. Tumnus’ encounter in the woods (which is a starting point of the great story) – the choice of the girl determined the destiny of the magic land.
For children who neither enjoy writing nor acting, we offer a drawing competition, where everyone can let their imagination soar and discover their potential as artists.
For the best brains there is a research task. For example, they need to answer the question «Where does revenge come from?».
These lessons change the atmosphere in a group and help children to start thinking and develop a passion for reading without even realising it!. And having prizes on offer every time sparks their interest.
We invite children who are at least 9 and sometimes younger to go on the Narnia journey.
We mentioned earlier that «Journey through Narnia» consists of 9 lessons, the first 3 include watching the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie.
The duration of every lesson is 80 minutes (2 academic hours). We use Power Point presentations, so a computer, speakers and projector are necessary.
One of the program’s follow-on activities is a 4-day seasonal children's camp under the same name. Usually we do the camp based in boarding-schools, orphanages or children’s rehabilitation centers but other options are acceptable as well. For this activity we gather a group of committed volunteers, who love children and Narnia, of course. They turn into some Narnia characters and create a magic land for the children.
During these four days we «live» through the whole story of «the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe» through acting. We play many fun and purpose-filled games and sports, teach creative workshops, sing Narnian songs, discuss the situations that the characters encounter – anything that helps kids to immerse in C.S. Lewis’ magic world.