The author seminar on C. S. Lewis presents an introduction to the work and thought of the beloved Oxford don, “Jack” Lewis, by taking students through 7 of his major works. Textual selections provide a diversity in genre, a general accessibility for those newer to Lewis, and a presentation of Lewis’s major ideas. Students read from a collection of essays, from children’s fiction, from satire, from fantasy, from science fiction, and from theology, thus enabling a well-rounded view of Lewis as a scholar, writer, and teacher. In each unit students confront Lewis’s text directly, but often link, synthesize, or contextualize Lewis’s thought along with other writers or commentators such as Louis Markos, Plato, St. Paul, William Blake, George, MacDonald, St. Augustine. The course seeks to balance the development of ideological awareness, linguistic and rhetorical exploration, peer discussion, writing skills, argumentation, oral expression, and vocabulary.

Author Seminar CS Lewis

Author Seminar CS Lewis Syllabus

Course Introduction

Welcome to our course on CS Lewis. Although this class is centered on a single author, its explorations are wide and varied. Lewis wrote children’s fiction, literary criticism, fantasy, theology, letters, educational treatises, science fiction, autobiography, epistolary fiction, poetry, and philosophy. Our work here will concern us with many of these differing genres, situating us in many regions—real and imaginary—such as the magical land of Narnia, the planet of Malacandra, heaven and hell, a toolshed in Lewis’s back yard, the office of an administrator in the Lowerarchy of Hell, a British boarding school, and a classroom at Oxford University. Keeping up with Lewis is no easy task as he will push our minds to think clearly, our hearts to feel truly, and our imaginations to open widely.  

Course Description

This course on CS Lewis covers 7 of Lewis’s masterpieces. A broad view of Lewis is given, and students will have the opportunity to see his ideas and work from many angles. We will meet Lewis the children’s writer, Lewis the university professor, Lewis the science fiction writer, Lewis the literary scholar, and Lewis the theologian. Through each of the texts, students will sharpen their skills with linguistic analysis, working with syntax, rhetorical devices, tropes, and schemes; studies in vocabulary taken from Lewis’s texts will also be presented in each unit. Writing skills, likewise, receive heavy emphasis both in shorter tasks and several longer papers. Students will practice oratory in the form of oral interpretations and oral exams. All of these academic fundamentals will be rooted in the ideological explorations that Lewis presents as he considers the nature of man, God, knowledge, ethics, society, purpose, and the universe. 

This is a 1 semester course consisting of 9 units.  Upon successful completion students will receive 0.5 credit towards high school graduation.

Purpose of the Course

This course is designed to continue to develop students’ skills in composition, style, grammar, argumentation, oratory, and philosophy. CS Lewis’s more popular and accessible texts will lead students through his ideas about life, purpose, God, man, knowledge, and morality. Because of the diversity of the texts and the all-encompassing nature of Lewis’s style, the course will extend students beyond mere rational inquiry or technical, academic proficiency. Our hope is that this study of Lewis’s work enables students to successfully front the variety of challenges they will face when they continue their schooling in and out of the university classroom.

Course Overview  

  • God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics
  • The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Silver Chair
  • Mere Christianity I
  • Mere Christianity II
  • Out of the Silent Planet, Part 1
  • Out of the Silent Planet, Part 2
  • The Screwtape Letters
  • The Great Divorce

Required Course Materials

Please access the list of course materials from the OC Online book ordering system and order your materials as soon as possible. Oftentimes, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.

Methods of Instruction

Instruction in this course will occur in predominantly 5 ways:

  1. Direction Instruction: many concepts will be explained through textual instruction directly. This will require attentive reading.
  2. Interactive Power Point: many concepts will be illustrated through examples and practice assessments on interactive power point presentations, providing the student with concepts as well as opportunities to receive guided practice.
  3. Sample Work: sample work will often be provided. Examples of argumentative paragraphs, of rhetorical analysis, and of oratory are all provided.
  4. Synchronous Sessions: each week a synchronous session will be held by the teacher for all students to attend. Synchronous sessions provide an opportunity for students and the teacher to connect real time in order to gain a deeper understanding of the course content and to connect with one another. Be sure to check your course announcements to see if there is any preparation required on your part before the synchronous session. 
  5. Formative and Summative Assessments: students will compete oral exams, quizzes, rhetorical analyses, summaries and paraphrases, organizational charts and diagrams, review activities, and essays. Students will receive feedback and direction on these assignments in order to sharpen their performance.

Methods of Evaluation 

The course uses 9 methods of evaluation. Below is an overview chart.



Number of Tasks

Sentence Reworking

Students will rewrite a primary source sentence using differing rhetorical strategies to achieve syntactic effects.


Rhetorical Terms Quiz

Students will identify rhetorical strategies in primary source texts


CEW Paragraph

Students will write an academic paragraph which argues a claim, provides textual evidence, and furnishes expository analysis.



Students will share their own ideas in response to a primary text and respond to others’ ideas with the forum


Vocabulary Quiz

Students will learn words from primary sources and then place those words, conjugating them according to syntax and grammar, within sentences.


Oral Interpretation

Students will read primary source text, giving careful attention to the “interpretation” of their reading in its control of rate, pitch, emphasis, enunciation, and volume. 


Ideological Synthesis

These assignments call students to synthesize ideas within and between pieces and authors, showing connections and differences.


Oral Exam

These assessments will be given by the instruction 1:1 and will afford the student the chance to verbally respond to a question.


Multi-Paragraph Essay

These longer papers will combine the smaller CEW paragraphs into a larger, coherent whole.


Methods of Evaluation

Students will demonstrate mastery through the following formative and summative assessments:

  • 40%       Assignments
  • 10%           Participation (Discussion Posts, InSync Links)
  • 10%           Quizzes
  • 25%           Final Paper
  • 15%           Unit Tests

Grading Rubrics

This course will use 3 rubrics.

CEW Rubric: this scoring guide will break down argumentative paragraphs into their claims, their evidence, and their warrants.

Multi-Paragraph Rubric: this scoring guide will break down larger papers into 5 components: Introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, concluding paragraph, fluency/style, and conventions.

Oral Interpretation Rubric: this scoring guide will divide speaking skills into 5 categories: rate, emphasis, pitch, enunciation, and volume.

* Semester-long Course and ** Eight-week Course

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