Posts Tagged ‘summary’

Humorous Summary of Paradise Lost

Monday, January 11th, 2016


My son Bryan wrote a fun summary of Paradise Lost by John Milton:

It all started when the #1 angel, Lucifer, made the most monumental miscalculation in the history of the universe. Somehow the most intelligent finite being ever actually thought he was more powerful than God! Next to infinity, all finite numbers look identical, so it blows my mind that he thought this. Not only that, but he got one third of all the other angels to believe him and tried to get a rebellion going.

This part of the poem is kind of silly. The good angels and the evil ones fought fiercely, until they realized their wounds healed almost instantly. They decided to call a truce to go back to their… tents? They slept through the night, because there’s nighttime in Heaven? I guess? Except team evil decided to spend the night inventing gunpowder. In the morning, they all got ready for battle. Team good drew their swords and team evil shot them with guns. But this turned out to be just as pointless, so they threw mountains at each other. Wait, there were mountains in Heaven? Jesus eventually grew disinterested in the aimless conflict, so He went to the middle of the battlefield and opened a trapdoor in Heaven under team evil, and they fell down into Hell.

In Hell, the demons built a large capital city called Pandemonium. From there, they decided to send Satan out of Hell on a reconnaissance mission. Meanwhile, God was creating the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the sixth day He made Adam, who wondered why he existed. God had him name all the animals, and he realized that there was more than one of each kind of creature, but he was the only human being in existence. Then God put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs and formed it into Eve. Adam and Eve fell in love and lived in the garden of Eden. They could eat of any fruit in the garden except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Satan had disguised himself as a regular angel, but he acted rather strangely and was spotted from a distance by another angel. A warning was sent out that a spy was in their midst, and a division of angels was sent to find the impostor. God knew perfectly well what Satan was up to, and (spoiler alert) that Satan would manage to bring sin into the world by deceiving Eve; however, God decided (but isn’t He omniscient?) to let free will exist so people would have to chose Him over other things. Adam and Eve went to sleep, and Satan put dreams of eating the forbidden fruit in Eve’s mind while disguised as a toad. That’s when the angels found Satan and brought him to a high-ranking angel, and they argued for a while. Then Satan was forced to retreat.

Meanwhile, Adam and Eve woke up. Later in the day, an angel named Raphael came for a visit and told Adam almost everything that had happened in the universe up to that point. No kidding. It took all evening. Some of it was like this: “If you disobey God and eat from the forbidden tree, you’ll bring sin into the world, and lose Paradise, and one day you’ll die!” “I’ll never do that! I don’t want to lose Paradise!” Adam replied. (How does he know Paradise is a good thing? It’s all he’s ever experienced up to this point.) “Be sure to warn Eve about this,” advised Raphael.

After that, Adam and Eve went gardening, and Eve suggested they split up. “But Eve, if we split up, you might be tempted by the enemy to sin against God by eating the forbidden fruit!” (How do they know what sin is? They haven’t eaten the forbidden fruit yet.) “I would never listen to the enemy and eat the fruit! I would withstand the temptation!” argued Eve. “Good for you! But let’s not split up anyway,” counseled Adam. Eventually Eve convinced Adam they should split up.

Satan possessed a serpent which came up to Eve and said, “Why don’t you go disobey God and do what you specifically told Adam you wouldn’t do? (By the way, I’m totally not the enemy Adam specifically told you not to listen to.)” Eve thought to herself, “No innocent-looking 60-foot python’s advice could possibly be bad.” So she ate the forbidden fruit. Then she went to Adam and offered him a bite. Adam decided to die with her, and he ate it as well.

God came to the garden and asked, “Why are you hiding from me?” and Adam said, “We were afraid because we were naked.” “Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?” demanded God. “Eve did, then gave me a piece,” blamed Adam. “Well, this rather innocent-looking 60-foot python told me I should!” So God cursed the serpent on its belly, gave Eve pain in childbirth, and made the ground grow thorns. Also, they were to leave paradise.

But before that, Michael (another high-ranking angel) was sent to tell Adam about loads of stuff about the future like Noah and the flood. This conversation, once again, must have taken ages. After this, Adam and Eve were thrown out of Paradise.

The Hiding Place Summary

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


My son wrote an interesting summary of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

The Hiding Place Summary

by Bryan Evans, age 14

Once upon a time there was a Beje (don’t even ask me what that means). In it lived a family called the Ten Booms. I don’t know what’s weirder, the name of the place they lived in or their last name. There was Corrie, and Betsy, and Father (yes, that’s his first name). They sold watches (evidently you can sell watches at this thing called a Beje). Everything was just great… except that German weirdo who punched old people. But then the Germans took over Poland and ruined everything! They confiscated the radios and telephones and gave people ration cards and smashed random places and took all the stuff and arrested Jews and *gasping for air*–where was I?

The Beje turned into a hiding place for Jews who didn’t want to die (another thing you can do with a Beje), and also a hiding place for fake ration cards. The watch business actually did well because those rude German soldiers wanted their watches repaired. Suddenly they realized that everyone knew about their top secret base of operations, and sure enough, German soldiers barged in. “Where are the Jews?” “What Jews?” (Apparently Corrie had a terrible memory). “I know they’re in here!” So they tied her to the wall and searched all over the place and somewhere in the middle of it all the phone got knocked off the hook. And do you know what it said? I’ll tell you what it said!

“Corrie! You are in grave danger! Any minute now German soldiers will barge into the Beje and search everywhere! You must warn the Jewish man who’s coming at 4:30 and the Jewish mother with her baby who are coming at 6:00! You need to evacuate the Beje, Corrie! I think they’ll suspect that you’re hiding Jews in your house! You need to get rid of all the fake ration cards and hide the radio!” All this time a German soldier was writing this down.

Soon they took Corrie and a bunch of other people to a prison with tiny gray rooms, and they all went insane! Except for Corrie… You know why? She found a few ants, and they have anti-insanity properties. Don’t believe me? Ever seen an insane ant? I thought so. One day, someone gave her some colorful paper and a Bible. Reading the Bible was just about the only thing she could do, other than stare out the window with bars on it.

After a few months they were taken out of prison and shipped to a concentration camp. Apparently the Germans’ favorite color was gray. (I mean, of all the colors, they could have painted everything in sight.) None of the prisoners could leave because of a barbed wire fence. They had to sleep on fermented rotting straw full of lice. During the day, Corrie worked on relay switches. She did so well, a friendly guard broke some of them and said, “Now fix them again, slowly and inefficiently. You’ve already made your daily quota! Don’t you know German fighter planes are gonna use these? You don’t want them to work perfectly, do you?”

The Germans decided it wasn’t depressing enough, so they took all the prisoners to Ravensbruck. This was another concentration camp, one that treated its prisoners notoriously badly. To get there, they took a train that could hold 40 people. However, they stuffed 80 people in there, killing dozens of people standing in the middle for no reason. The trip was days long. They finally made it to Ravensbruck. Not only was the concentration camp gray and surrounded with barbed wire, but there were no living plants in sight. Everything was miserable. When they went to bed, not only was the fermented rotting straw they slept on full of lice, but fleas as well. Betsy was sick, but they had a small bottle of pills. Miraculously, day after day the bottle didn’t run out of pills. It got to the point where it became obvious that it was a miracle. After what must have been years, they were finally released, but not before Betsy died.

Romeo and Juliet Poem for Kids

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012


I assigned my children to write a summary of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. My 12-year-old son Bryan asked if he could write it as a poem. I said, “Sure.” The result was a beautiful Romeo and Juliet poem for kids:

I will tell you a tragic love story;
Two families were in a fight.
The Montagues and the Capulets
Couldn’t stand each other’s sight.

Romeo of the Montagues
Arrived at a Capulet ball.
He fell in love with Juliet,
And later he climbed her wall.

To Juliet’s window he loudly proclaimed,
“What light through yonder window breaks?
Let us go to Friar Lawrence’s cell
To be married for both of our sakes!”

The next day they secretly married.
Tybalt killed an innocent man.
Romeo revenged him by killing Tybalt
And was banished, so off he ran.

Juliet’s father told her, “Marry Paris.”
But sadly, she was already wed.
She ran to Friar Lawrence who said,
“Drink this potion and go to bed.”

Presuming that Juliet was dead,
Her family buried her with sorrow deep.
Romeo never got the message
That Juliet was only asleep.

So he entered Juliet’s tomb,
And his life he brought to an end.
Juliet woke up and killed herself,
And their families did finally amend.

Related product: Romeo and Juliet Unit Study


Charlotte Mason – Book 6: A Philosophy of Education

Thursday, April 26th, 2012


A Philosophy of Education is the last book in the Charlotte Mason series, and it is a summing-up of all the volumes. She restates all her main points:

  1. “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Setting up our house to encourage continual learning, developing good habits, and establishing a lifelong love of learning would all fall under this category.
  2. “Education is the science of relations.” Unit studies do this very well, pulling all of our subject areas under one theme for better retention of all of it.
  3. A single reading is insisted on so that the student pays attention. He is required to narrate what he has read, whether orally or in written form.
  4. Knowledge is like food to the mind, presented through ideas, one mind to another.
  5. Children should be taught how to use their will to be in complete control of their thoughts and their behavior. They can control their thoughts by thinking of something else whenever a bad thought enters their mind.
  6. Children should be taught that their reason is fallible, that even evil thoughts and deeds can be defended logically, and that just because something seems right doesn’t mean it is right.

Children naturally have a hunger for knowledge, and if we present that knowledge in a literary form (through living books), the children will actually retain a surprising amount of knowledge. The ideas will excite their imagination, and in their mind’s eye, they will picture the knowledge. They must retell their knowledge so that it won’t escape their minds.

In foreign language teaching, a passage should be read in that language, and the children should narrate back what was read to them. Fluency of the language is grasped much sooner because they are required to think in that language.

Charlotte Mason feels that if the masses were educated, they would be less apt to be selfish and act ignorantly. Instead they would learn that “we have precisely the same rights as other people do and no more; that other people owe to us just such duties as we owe to them.” When we realize this fact, we will be thinking of other people’s rights and our duties to them.

Knowledge must proceed in an orderly way. We should not repeat anything. Every day should build on the previous day. That way knowledge is always fresh and new. (I disagree about repetition, especially in math. Also, a person needs to review previous knowledge occasionally to not lose it. But her concept of not repeating stale information over and over is good.)

Children should learn not only that which is useful; they should learn for the sake of knowledge itself. For example, history does not seem useful, but the full knowledge of history will cause a child to have a deeper understanding, and therefore make him wiser and a more well-rounded person. Plus, as a citizen, he can vote for people and propositions that he knows from the past will not cause horrible consequences.

Charlotte Mason stresses that the knowledge of God is the most important knowledge for our children to possess. It can be taught through Scripture and a general commentary. For example, look at the story of Cain and Abel. “Among the lessons taught are the following

  1. God judges man’s motives rather than his acts. The service of the heart is worth more than any ceremonial.
  2. It is not the sin of murder that is condemned so much as the sins of jealousy and malice…
  3. That each man is his brother’s keeper and has his share of responsibility for the conditions of the lives of others.
  4. Sin always brings its own punishment.
  5. God remonstrates (pleads in reproof) with man before the climax of sin is reached.”

I thought these points were very insightful.

Related product: Using Journals to Teach Writing