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Pilgrim's Progress Homeschool Unit Study
Take a Literary Journey With Christian
An uneducated working-class man armed only with his imagination and knowledge of the Bible composed a classic that is still cherished over 300 years later. John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is undoubtedly one of the most influential books of Western civilization not to mention Christianity.
The allegorical novel highlights Christian, the protagonist, who chooses to follow Jesus Christ and then journeys to the Celestial City. Along the way, he encounters people and places that quite obviously symbolize the perils which a Christian believer faces in this earthly life.
A study of Pilgrim's Progress is a great choice for a homeschool unit study, literature study, or even Bible study. This lens will give you ideas and resources for customizing your own Pilgrim's Progress study.
Planning Your Pilgrim's Progress Study - Mapping Out a Plan
Your first step in planning your Pilgrim's Progress study is to select which version of the novel is appropriate for your children. Your children's age and attention span will be the factors to consider.
Here are three primary choices:
Elementary age students will probably benefit from a picture book introduction. Upper elementary students can begin with an abridged novel, though. Many middle schoolers and most high schoolers will be ready for the original version, especially if you read it aloud to them.
John Bunyan on Prayer
“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer”
Dangerous Journey - 1. Retelling in Picture Book Format
This picture book was my daughter's introduction to Pilgrim's Progress. The text remains true to the original in a greatly abbreviated format.
The illustrations have an old fashioned look that suit the story and the rather serious tone of the work. But don't think the illustrations are boring. Far from it. The monster Apollyon was quite scary to my ten year old daughter! Get a sneak peek of the look of the book from the videos below. All the images in the videos are still images of the book's illustrations.
Dangerous Journey Video - First Half
The book Dangerous Journey has been formatted into a video something like the Reading Rainbow movies you may have watched as a child. The images are static, taken from the book's illustrations. the voices are varied, and there are sound effects.
The movie version is divided into 16 sections at YouTube. The first ten are linked below on the thumbnails. (Sorry for the foreign subtitles. The cleaner versions of this video were removed from YouTube.)
The Rest of Dangerous Journey Video
John Bunyan on Peace
“If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.”
A Pilgrim's Progress - 2. Abridged Novel
Another free version is a retelling of the story using only one syllable words. It is designed for early readers.
A children's edition of Pilgrim's Progress. A winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards.
Pilgrim's Progress in Electronic Format - 3. Unabridged
John Bunyan on Daily Devotions
“He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find him the rest of the day”
Teaching from the Unabridged Text
Pilgrim's Progress Unit Study
If you choose to use the original, unabridged text, there are many resources you can use to flesh out your study.
1. Bunyan Ministries offers PDF commentaries on each chapter of the novel.
2. Here is a Twelve Week Children's Church Curriculum which includes games, scripture memory verses, and activities to go along with the story.
3. Be sure to check the printable resources lower on the page. There are coloring pages, worksheets, and study guides.
A comprehensive literature and Bible course on Pilgrim's Progress is published by Answers in Genesis.
It is called
All-in-One Pilgrim's Progress Curriculum and includes the text of the novel (in printed form and on audio CD) plus comprehension questions and Bible references.
I have this book and look forward to using it with my daughter in the future.
Read a review of All-in-One Pilgrim's Progress Curriculum at The Old Schoolhouse.
Printable Teaching Resources
Since Pilgrim's Progress is so old, the classic editions and their illustrations are in the public domain. Feel free to save the images linked here and create your own notebooking pages.
- PUBLIC DOMAIN: Images from Pilgrim's Progress
Illustrations by Frederick Barnard, J.D. Linton, W. Small, etc.from the Altemus edition of Pilgrim's Progress, copyright 1890. All in the public domain.
- PUBLIC DOMAIN: Illustrations from Pilgrim's Progress
These images come from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, With Over One Hundred Illustrations copyright 1894.
- FREE: Pilgrim's Progress Coloring Book
These PDFs are gorgeous, crystal clear illustrations from Pilgrim's Progress.
- FREE: Grace Baptist Church Pilgrim's Progress Study Guides
Each chapter has a thorough study guide with questions to answer. (Keys are provided at the same webpage.)
- RETAIL: Notebooking Pages from CurrClick
This ebook includes 143 reproducible pages illustrated with black and white images.
- FREE: John Bunyan Quotations Copywork
The four quotations you see in the grey boxes on this page are included in this free copywork PDF. (The quotes are all by John Bunyan but do not come from the text of Pilgrim's Progress.) Sample thumbnails are below.
John Bunyan on Giving
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
Others Who Have Studied Pilgrim's Progress
- Delighting in His Richness Blog
This blog post shows Pilgrim's Progress lapbooks.
- Open Source Ministry Pilgrim's Progress Curriculum
This is a free 12-week Pilgrim's Progress curriculum for children's church.