Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators
Unit One: Introducing Tolkien and His Worlds
Content Focus: The Oral Tradition
Thematic Focus: Creating Meaning Through Myth
In creating The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien drew upon traditional folk literature, including myths, tales, sagas, poems, legends, ballads, and epics. All of these forms ultimately spring from the oral tradition: stories told and retold over the centuries. In Unit One, students explore this rich heritage through readings, discussions, journal writing, and projects.
By the end of Unit One, the student should be able to:
Describe some types of oral narrative that influenced Tolkien.
Identify several common myth and folktale motifs.
Indicate what Tolkien meant by "Faerie."
Suggest what is lost when an oral narrative is transcribed.
Discuss Tolkien's concept of the "eucatastrophe."
Unit One Content
Comments for Teachers
These lesson plans were written by James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow in consultation with Amy Allison, Gregory Miller, Sarah Rito, and Jason Zanitsch.
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