Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Little Pilgrim's Progress

Teaching-Tip Tuesday
This book is an adaptation of John Bunyan's classic. It is written with children in mind but does not water down the rich lessons contained in the original.

Similar to Bunyan's original allegory, in Little Pilgrim's Progress the main character, Little Christian, learns the truth of his present condition, must pass through the Wicket Gate and lose his burden at the cross. He receives clothes of righteousness and shiny armor. He then embarks on a journey toward the Celestial City, encountering the enemy, temptations, and trials.

As we have read and journeyed with him, we have been encouraged and challenged. I highly recommend this read for every family. Even if you do not homeschool, I would encourage you to read this book as a family. The chapters are very short but jam-packed with truth. You could easily read one chapter at dinner or a couple chapters each Saturday.

We begin each day with a vocabulary lesson (see my post "Teaching Vocabulary" http://homeschooldawn.blogspot.com/2008/10/i-have-employed-teaching-strategy-for.html for details). The first week I included the word "burden." For the first ten chapters, Little Christian carries a terrible burden. To bring this to life, I packed two book bags with encyclopedias and placed them in the dinning room. After our vocab lesson, I instructed them to get the bags and carry them to the classroom (opposite end of the house). When our reading was over, they had to carry the bags back to the spot in the dinning room. We then discussed the weight of our sin and relief that true repentance brings. They had to repeat this activity everyday until Little Christian reaches the cross and loses his burden in Chapter Eleven.

Carrying Their Burdens
Each day we only read one chapter. We then read a related scripture passage. For example, after reading the chapter "Little Christian Comes to the Cross," we read the account of the crucifixion. Other topics we have covered include, laziness, idle talk, temptation, trust, trials, and humility.

Each Friday, we do not read a new chapter but instead map Little Christian's journey. The boys color a picture that represents one story event on a 2"x 2" square of white card stock. I paste their drawings to a large sheet of construction paper, and we draw in a path and add captions.

Our Little Pilgrim's Progress Map

I have carefully selected about 5 vocabulary words per chapter. Comprehension is increased considerably when vocabulary is discussed before reading. I have completed 35 chapters and am willing to share these lists as well as the scripture references for each chapter with any one who is interested. I have also placed this book on my Shelfari for those of you interested in buying a copy. God bless.


Shannan said...

I'd love to use your list for Little Pilgrims Progress! We just purchased the book. Thank you for your post. jsthiel at photosavvy dot com.

Lisa said...

Hi Dawn, I am getting ready to start Little Pilgrim's Progress in the Fall with my 10 yr old. I would welcome any tips/lists/printables you are open to sharing :) I loved reading your bio..."Did not vote for Obama"...almost spit out my tea LOL.