• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

Suggested Activities

1. Pictures/stories/dioramas – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe lends itself very well to seizing favorite characters, scenes, or moments – and seeing what students want to do them. Draw pictures. Write their own adventure (e.g. “Lucy Hunts a Werewolf”). Or make a diorama together depicting a favorite moment. Suggestions like these probably don’t need to be said, but it’s always worth remembering to let children do what they will naturally do (at their respective ages) with the material.

2. A Map of Narnia – There’s one included in the flyleaf of every book. But let children make their own. Could be a great class project. They could make sure to place important locations in the book – the lamppost, Mr. Tumnus’ house, the Beaver’s house, the Witch’s castle, etc. – and even choose to highlight events in the book. Would also be a good lead-in to books in the rest of the series.

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5. Religious Allegory – It’s no secret that C.S. Lewis was a Christian writer and that the Chronicles of Narnia are intended as Christian allegory. For many readers, this just passes right over their heads – and that is fine. Lewis wanted his books to be good, entertaining stories first. It’s also worth noting that Lewis wasn’t out to evangelize or convert anyone. He merely wanted an alternate way to share and elucidate Christian stories. A school may choose to ignore or explore these themes. But it should be noted that in our current environment responsible schools aim to educate students about all religions – not proselytize about one religion. The allegories in the Chronicles of Narnia can be used merely to help explain and explore these stories – just as teachers and students explore literature, mythology, or religious stories from other cultures. What to do with students? Just ask them. Someone will have noticed and go with it. E.g. Aslan’s last night with Lucy and Susan has the feel of Jesus‘ Last Supper. See what else they notice. It can become an educational game or puzzle, like a mystery or a literary treasure hunt. No need to force it. See how curious or alert students are – and go on, or desist, from there.

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