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Tolkien's Middle-earth:

Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators

Unit Two: Runes, Riddles, and a Ring of Power

Content Focus: The Hobbit, Chapters I – VII
Thematic Focus: The Magic of Language


Rivendell ... Lothlórien . . . Númenor . . . Galadriel . . . Aragorn . . . Barad-dûr . . . Rohirrim . . . Silmarillion: the forests and mountains of Middle-earth echo with musical words, strange names, and lyrical Elven phrases. Having read the first half of The Hobbit, students can now begin experiencing its themes, its meaning, and Tolkien's delight in language.

Learning Goals

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

• Indicate what a philologist does.

• Write a sentence using Anglo-Saxon runes.

• Obtain etymological information from an unabridged dictionary.

• Paraphrase Tolkien's critique of the hoarding instinct.

• Discuss the idea of "not knowing what you do not know."

Unit Two 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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