After reading A Wrinkle in Time, the classic middle grades novel by Madeleine L’Engle, kids will enjoy a class discussion. Maybe first they will need to tell you all about the special effects and costumes in the movie, but once they get that out of their systems, its time for some real discussion questions. Here is what I’ve come up with so far.
Thinking about the Story
- How did IT spread fear among the people of Camazotz? How did this fear lead the people to do exactly what IT wanted?
- At first, Camazotz appears to be much like Earth, but then we notice that on Camazotz, everyone acts exactly the same. Why is insisting that everyone act the same all the time a bad idea? Do you think there are certain times when it is a good idea for everyone to act the same?
- Suppose that you were offered a big turkey dinner (or another meal of your choice) that looked and smelled great, but you knew that it wasn’t real food? Would you eat it? Why or why not? Do we eat anything today that is not real food?
- Meg is a brave and heroic character in this novel, but in the end she defeats the evil IT simply by saying “I love you,” to her little brother. What did you think of this ending to the story? Can you think of another possible ending in which Meg would still be the hero?
- Explain what this quote from Meg Murry, in Chapter 9, means to you, “Like and equal are not the same thing at all!” Can you think of examples to demonstrate that “Like (alike) and equal are not the same”?
- A Wrinkle in Time includes references to the Cheshire Cat (Chapter 5) and to a white rabbit (Chapter 6). Both of these creatures appear in the classic children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Do you see any similarities between A Wrinkle in Time and Alice in Wonderland? (In order for the kids to get more out of this discussion, read excerpts from Alice in Wonderland first.)
A Wrinkle Today
- A Wrinkle in Time was first published in the 1960s. How is it different from a novel published more recently, such as The Hunger Games?
- Compare the book to the movie. Other than the special effects and costumes, what differences did you note? What elements of the story were the same in the book and the movie?