We just finished up Lord of the Flies with our co-op class. It was not a book that I initially picked out to do but my daughter Ariel wanted to do it so I flipped through the Total Language Plus study guide and that convinced me it that it was an important guide to do.
Lord of the Flies is not your feel good happy ending type story for those of you who have never read it or don't remember. The basic plot is that English proper school boys get stranded alone on an Island and go from being refined, disciplined and restrained to truly savage. It's not one of the TLP titles that I recommend as a read aloud to the whole family, unless of courage everyone is high school or above. Aside from a couple of swear words, mostly British, which were not as offense to us the main "bad thing" is the killing of human lives. It's not a new concept, and no this book is not "new". Most recently you'll find this theme explored (though is a different way) in the popular Hunger Games series.
So after that glowing description why would I be suggesting it for study with your high schoolers? The Total Language Plus guide makes the difference. It simply does. Each week you chart the changes in the characters both physical, emotional, attitudes and actions. You literally "see" the progression and what got left behind in their descent into savagery. At the end of the study guide you take the information you've collected along with some discussion and write a final paper dealing with rules of society versus human nature.
It was interesting to me that my daughter who is doing NCFCA Lincoln Douglas debate this year had a case along the very same lines. God just works these things out as I certainly couldn't have known or planned what the debate resolution was let alone how my daughter would chose to formulate her case. That's just a little aside to say that it's amazing where God takes you and how He puts your curriculum together better than certainly any government or even publisher could!
In class we had a lot of great discussions and definitely had two camps of students. We had a "Piggy" lover club and a "Piggy" whinny club. Piggy is one of the main characters and many in the class identified with him and felt bad about the way he was treated. Others in the class felt like he was very whinny and pathetic at times. It sure made for interesting and sometimes highly emotional discussions!
Though the book will never be my favorite I do highly recommend the book and the study guide for high schoolers. If we don't discuss the evil sin nature and the world without God's morals and ethics where will our children get this?
For more information on Lord of the Flies Study guide check out the Total Language Plus website. It sells for $21.95 and is an approximate 6-9 week study.