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Tolkien's Middle-earth:

Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators

Unit Six: Treebeard's Lament

Content Focus: The Lord of the Rings, Book Three
Thematic Focus: The Price of Progress


Few novelists have been as moved as J.R.R. Tolkien by the fact that human beings share their planet with multitudes of plants and animals. The handouts, discussion topics, and suggested activities for Unit Six are designed to help the class appreciate Tolkien'ís love of nature and his dismay over industrialization, themes that permeate his fiction.

Learning Goals

By the end of Unit Six, the student should be able to:

• Give several examples of personification in The Lord of the Rings.

• Paraphrase Tolkienís critique of modernism.

• Say what Tolkien regarded as "the most widespread assumption of our time."

• Give evidence that Tolkien revered the inanimate as well as the animate world.

• Indicate what Tolkien meant by "sub-creation."

Unit Six Content

Comments for Teachers
Preliminary Quiz
Key Terms
Discussion Topics
Suggested Activities

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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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