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Home > Interpreter Magazine > Archives > 2010 Archives > November-December 2010 > The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
You may also want to use the discussion guide for the book alone, http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=2429609&ct=8971699.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

AslanTalking about Dawn Treader with Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
By Delia Halverson*
NOTE: This downloadable discussion guide is based the movie which comes from the book by C. S. Lewis. Find additional guides and resources, based on the movie,  to use with youth and adults here. You may also want to use this  downloadable discussion guide for the book ..
or this downloadable discussion guide for the movie..
Read the UMC.org/Interpreter OnLine review of the movie. 
Introduction
C. S. Lewis, author of the seven-book Chronicles of Narnia, purposely avoided identifying Christian concepts in the stories. However, there are spiritual themes throughout his books. Some are lifted up here, particularly for older children. You may discover others.
In this story, Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship, the Dawn Treader. They are headed for the edge of the world, but encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk and a band of lost warriors along the way.
This discussion guides are primarily for parents to use with their children. Leaders can use them with a group of children who have read the book or seen the movie. Two groups of questions are in each section. The first is for children, kindergarten and above. The second group is for fourth and fifth graders who can think more abstractly and are more familiar with the Bible. Use suggested activities at the end before, during or after the discussion.
Remember that young children have a limited interest span. Do not try to discuss all of the questions with them at one sitting. Families may want to spread the discussions out over several days. Teachers will want to select questions to use with their groups.
Prior to and the beginnings of the journey
For All Children

  • What did you like or not like about Eustace Clarence Scrubb in the first part of the story? Do you enjoy being around that sort of person? Why or why not?
  • When the children got on the ship, what was Eustace's reaction to Reepicheep, the talking mouse?
  • When Eustace became friends with Reepicheep, he saw that while he didn't like the mouse's looks, he liked the real mouse on the inside. Have you ever not liked people at first because of their look and later found that you liked them?
  • On the ship, how did Edmund and Lucy respond to Eustace's actions?
  • What did they expect to find at the very eastern edge of the world?

CaspianFor Older Children

  • What did Jesus say about the inside of a person as well as the outside? (Luke 11:40)
  • Where was the Dawn Treader headed?
  • When questioned about his belief in Aslan’s country, Reepicheep says, “We have nothing if not belief.” How does what you believe make a difference in your actions?
  • Reepicheep had great dreams of finding Aslan's country. Later he was willing to risk his life to fulfill that dream, and he inspired others to do so. Whom do you know that has had a dream so great that he or she would risk life for it?

The Lone Islands and prison
For All Children

  • On the Lone Islands, the slave traders take the children to sell as slaves. Edmund and Caspian are put in prison with Lord Bern who doesn't recognize Caspian at first. How does his attitude change when he recognizes Caspian as his king?
  • In prison Lord Bern told Caspian and Edmund that they would never escape and it was hopeless. How would the story have been different if they had believed him?
  • What was happening to the people who were not sold as slaves?
  • The little girl whose mother had disappeared into the mist managed to get onto the ship. When they found her, what did Lucy say to her that gave her hope in finding her mother?
  • When have you been worried and someone helped you have hope?

For Older Children

  • Think about Lord Bern not recognizing Caspian, why is it important to discover just who a person is (what's happening in his or her life; what problems he or she has) before we judge him or her?
  • When have you seen someone with a positive attitude make a difference in the outcome of a situation?
  • Read these passages and discuss why we must have hope: Psalm 71:14; Romans 12:12.

The Island of the Voices
For All Children

  • All of the invisible Monopods agreed with everything that the head Monopod said. He had convinced the others that he was always right. Do you know someone who always thinks he or she is right? How do you feel about that person?
  • Lucy had to go into the mansion alone to look in the book of magic and discover how to turn those invisible back into visible. When have you been afraid of doing something by yourself? What helped you to be able to do it?
  • Lucy found a magical spell to turn herself into a beautiful girl, and she tried the spell. What happened to change her mind?

For Older Children

  • How did Aslan help Lucy resist the temptation to use the magic spell? Thinking of Aslan as a symbol for Christ, how does Christ help us resist temptation?
  • After Lucy said the magical spell, Aslan told her, “You doubt your value. Don’t run from whom you are.”  What did Lucy realize about the importance of the way we look?
  • How does the head Monopod's attitude compare to the attitude of gang leaders?
  • The magician who had responsibility for the Monopods said, “To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness inside yourself.” What did he mean by that?
  • When Aslan appeared, he tells Lucy that he had been there all along, but she just didn’t see him. When have we ignored the opportunities to see Christ around us?

mapThe Dragon and the Storm at Sea
For All Children

  • When the children found the pool that turned everything into gold, Caspian and Edmund lost their temper and fought. Who helped them stop fighting? When have you lost your temper? Who helped you get over it?
  • What did Eustace do when the others were working to find supplies for the ship? Why did Eustace go up into the mountains?
  • What did Eustace find? What did he think he would do with the treasure?
  • When the dragon (who had been Eustace) flew to the beach, how did the people act?
  • When they found out that Eustace had been turned into a dragon, did the others act as if he deserved to be a dragon? How did they act then? Read Ephesians 4:22.
  • Reepicheep comforted Eustace when he was a dragon, and told him stories at night. How do you think this helped Eustace? How does it feel when you are kind to someone else? Read Ephesians 4:32.
  • How did the dragon (who had been Eustace) help them when there was no wind? When have you been able to do something better because others have cooperated with you? What does the Bible say about working together in Ecclesiastes 4:9?
  • What other times do you remember in the movie when cooperation helped them get out of trouble?

For Older Children

  • When have you avoided responsibility instead of doing your part? How did you feel later?
  • Who do you know who has helped someone who was not nice in the past? Has it made a difference in the way the person acted later?
  • Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. What does this say about trying to do things alone instead of letting others help you?
  • What do you sometimes have to give up in order to cooperate with others?
  • How did Aslan help Eustace become better? Why didn't Aslan just change Eustace into a better boy to start with, so that Eustace would not have to go through the painful ordeal of becoming a dragon? What did Eustace have to go through in order to become better?
  • When have you thought God would help you in one way and found that God actually helped in another, unexpected way?
  • Think of Aslan as a symbol for Christ. Can we change magically, or do we need to decide consciously to follow Christ? evil forces

The Beginning of the End of the World and the Last Sea
For All Children

  • When they reached the next island, they found three men who had been sleeping for seven years. What did the girl at Aslan’s table tell them would break the spell?
  • The young girl who was looking for her mother told Lucy, “When I grow up I want to be like you.” Then Lucy told her, “When you grow up, you should be just like you.” What did she mean by that?
  • When they were at the dark island and fighting with the sea monster, how did the dragon (who had been Eustace) help?
  • After the dragon placed the last sword on the pile and broke the spell, what did Aslan do to him?
  • When they reached the edge of the world, Caspian first thought that he would go into Aslan’s country. What did Caspian say about his responsibility to the people of Narnia?
  • When the group looked into Aslan's country, Reepicheep said, “I would lay down my soul to see your country with my own eyes.”  This was a great dream of his. How did he fulfill his dream?
  • When Aslan told them they were too old to return to Narnia, how did he explain how they would know him in their own world?

For Older Children

  • The table where the three men were sleeping was called “Aslan’s Table”. They were told that there was always food for all at Aslan’s table. If you think of Aslan representing Christ, how does this parallel with everyone’s opportunity to take communion?
  • Considering the conversation between the young girl and Lucy above, how had Lucy’s attitude changed about wanting to be like her sister?
  • After Eustace was turned back into a boy he said, “No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it myself.” When have you known that you couldn’t do something yourself and asked God to help you?
  • Finding the seven swards and going to the edge of the world was an adventure of honor. How can you share your experiences at church with your friends so that they realize that being a Christian is an adventure of honor?
  • Caspian wanted to go to Aslan’s country but recognized his responsibility to Narnia. When have you had a responsibility that kept you from doing something?
  • When Aslan told the children they would know him differently in their own world, what do you suppose he meant?

SnowBookActivities to try
Ask each person to draw a scene from the movie that they liked best and tell why.
Identify five places in the room with the following names: Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, Reepicheep, and Caspian. Have each person go to one place and tell something about the character of that person. Then ask them to move to another place and tell about that character. Different people will have different things to say about the person named.
Using a fan, ask each person to stand in front of the fan with closed eyes and imagine how it would feel to be in the storm.
Using the following form, write a poem about Eustace when he was a dragon.

  • Line 1: A title of one word.
  • Line 2: Two words about the subject (either a phrase or separate words).
  • Line 3: Three verbs that denote action or a phrase of action.
  • Line 4: Four words telling about how Eustace changed. May also be a phrase.
  • Line 5: One word that means same as first line (or reuse the first word).


Example: Eustace
Selfish Lazy
Turned into dragon
Different Helpful Understanding Courage
Changed
Try hopping around on one foot on a hard surface in order to hear the sound that the children heard when they met the invisible people.
Taste the difference between salty water and sweet/regular water. Talk about how they might have felt when they realized the water was no longer salty.
Paraphrase any of the Bible passages suggested in the discussion questions above.
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*Delia Halverson is an author who provides Christian education consultation and leads retreats through Faith Discovery Ministries. Her blog is Delia's Deliberations on Life and Faith.




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