It was my month to lead the book at our Chronicles of Narnia Book Club for kids 2nd-5th grades, and I found very little online for The Silver Chair. It's hard for me to pick my favorite Narnia book, but this one has always been right up there in the top three for me. We could have talked for hours about the book, but our time is limited to an hour and a half. I also had ideas for many other activities which we could not do in this time, but I will include them at the bottom.
The Silver Chair Study
Apples, hot chocolate, white paper, markers, raisins, brown sugar, tape
1. At the beginning of the story, why was Jill crying? Who was she trying to get away from? What did Eustace do to comfort Jill? (He told her about his adventures in Narnia)
2. Why did Scrubb decide that Jill’s idea of drawing a circle and standing in it to recite spells was wrong? How did they end up getting into Narnia?
3. Divide white board into 2 columns. On one side list as many adjectives as we can find to describe the surroundings at the school; on the other wide, list adjectives to describe the place Eustace and Jill saw when they went through the doorway.
4. What happened to Eustace right away? And who did Jill meet then?
5. The lion Jill saw invited her to come and drink if she was thirsty. Can you think of a Bible story this reminds you of? (John 4: The woman at the well. Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus is called the living water!
6. What task did Aslan then set before Jill? What are the four signs? (Write on white board.) What did Aslan say she should do so she would not forget the signs? Do you think it would be hard to remember these signs? Do you ever have trouble remembering things? What kinds of things do you have trouble remembering? Did Jill do what Aslan told her to do?
7. The children messed up on the very first sign. How did this happen?
8. Now let’s talk about Rilian and his mother. Who was Rilian’s mother? Describe what happened to her. So was the serpent that killed Rilian’s mother and the woman who Rilian visited before his disappearance the same person? What does this story remind you of in the Bible? The Bible says that Satan is very crafty and can appear as something beautiful. 2 Corinthians says that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” Remember how in the Garden of Eden, Satan pretended to be Eve’s friend? Discuss.
9. So, Eustace and Jill met with the owls, and where did the owls take them? What is Puddleglum? What does a Marshwiggle look like? (At this point, I had children come up to the white board and take turns drawing their version of a Marshwiggle.)
10. What words would you use to describe Puddleglum? (gloomy, pessimistic, sad, funny, etc.)
11. What did the three see when they left the Marsh? Were these very smart giants? And then who did they encounter (the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Knight.) Did Puddleglum trust these two? Where did these two tell Puddleglum and the children to go? What were Puddleglum and the children to tell the giants in Harfang?
12. At this point, was Jill still remembering the signs? Why did she stop rehearsing them? Do you think that the Lady of the Green Kirtle knew this would happen--hat they would fight and get distracted and forget what they were doing? Do you ever get distracted when your mom or dad tells you something to do? Do we get distracted from doing what God tells us to do?
13. Let’s talk about what happened at Harfang. Did you guess that THEY were to be the main dish at the Autumn Feast? Draw what you think the giants might have looked like.
14. They finally escaped from Harfang, and what happened when they heard the hunting party return? (Eventual answer—they got to the cave.) Have you ever been in complete darkness like they were? What was that like?
15, Who finally found them in the cave? What was the phrase that the warden kept repeating? What did you think about the earthmen? (At this point, read some descriptions of the earthmen, and have everyone draw what they think the earthmen might look like.)
16. The children and Puddleglum are taken to the Knight. Had they met him before? Who does he turn out to be? Did you think that he was Prince Rilian? What is it that the Knight finally says that convinces them to set him free? What was the first thing that he did when he was freed?
17. What did the Queen do when she came in and found them? What brave thing to Puddleglum do to break the enchantment that she was putting them under? What happened then to Rilian’s black shield?
18. Remember when Rilian and everyone started to leave, and they captured the gnome named Golg? What did Golg tell them? What did they tell Golg that made him so happy?
19. How did they finally get out of the cave?
20. What did the oldest Dwarf say about Northern Witches? (That they were always up to the same plan, just going about it in a different way.) Does this sound like Satan to you? Just as the Witches are always trying to get people to turn from Aslan, so Satan is always trying to get us to deny God.
21. What sad thing happens at the end of the book? Then what happens when Aslan takes Jill and Eustace back to the mountain?
Talk about the hot meal they had at the end of the book. Make baked apples and hot chocolate. The easiest way to make baked apples is to cut an apple in half and take out the seeds. Let the kids put brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins, if desired on the apples. Put in mircrowave for 1 minute. This will be hot! Serve with "frothy" hot chocolate.
Cave exploration: We lined a dark hallway with a row of chairs (we do this club at a church). We turned off all the lights and had the kids crawl through the chairs. This gave them an idea of what it is like to crawl through tight spaces. After this, we led them down to the church basement with the lights on. Once they were settled in the room, I turned off the lights for a few seconds so they could experience darkness. Lots of great screams, and begging to do it again and again!
These were all the activities that we had time for. I would also liked to have had them make model teepees, like Puddleglum's, or to make a stuffed Puddleglum.