Students compare big-screen 'Narnia' with novel

Friday, December 16, 2005

Five local schools spent Thursday morning at the Wehrenberg Theatre to see "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

The students are not just taking the morning off from learning as those that have read the book will do comparison worksheets on the similarities and differences between the movie and the book, and work on other reading skills, teachers said.

Some students will work on the book's thematic concepts included in the movie and discuss the character Edmund's poor choices and the consequences of those choices.

The movie started around 9:30 a.m., but most of the students from Immaculate Conception, Bell City Elementary, Oak Ridge Elementary, Franklin Elementary and Meridian Elementary arrived an hour before the movie started because they each received a small popcorn and a small Sierra Mist soda.

Seventy third- and fourth-graders from Immaculate Conception just finished reading the book. Students read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" every year, third-grade teacher Stacey Leimer said. But this year the teachers timed finishing the book with the movie's release.

This is not the first time all of the students at Franklin Elementary have gone to the movies, last year they all saw "Polar Express" after doing a weeklong literature unit on the book.

A silent auction and help from the Franklin Parent Teachers Association allowed 197 students and 35 faculty members from Franklin to attended the movie for free.

The movie is a bonding experience for the students and a way to stress the importance of parent involvement in the school, Franklin principal Rhonda Dunham said.

To prepare for the movie some of the teachers, like Franklin's second-grade teacher Julie Lohr, have already watched the movie and talked to their students about some of the more intense scenes such as when Aslan is killed and the battle scenes so they wouldn't be frightened.

Half of the 28 fifth-graders at Oak Ridge Elementary read the book this semester and the other half will begin reading it in January, teacher Ginger Riehn said.

General manager for Wehrenberg Kevin Dillon said he and the staff love when students come to visit the movies.

"This is really not uncommon, we do schools quite often," Dillon said.

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