Many decades ago in England, a highly respected professor at Oxford was correcting exam papers and, having a few minutes to spare, idly scribbled on a blank page in an exam book, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." He didn't even know what a hobbit was, or why he wrote those words. But they were, nevertheless, the beginning of one of the most famous fantasy adventure tales ever written. The professor was J.R.R. Tolkien, and the book, of course, was The Hobbit. The story can be read as a straight fantasy adventure or as a journey (Professor Tolkien's subtitle was There and Back Again) into responsibility and maturity. Funny, exciting, scary, and entertaining, it has something for every reader, young and old. It is an excellent introduction to Tolkien for readers in grades 6+.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS
This Educator's Guide for The Lord of the Rings is broken down by book and is intended to assist teachers and students in appreciating both the world of Frodo Baggins and his companions and Tolkien's accomplishment in constructing that world. It is divided into sections corresponding to reading assignments that range from thirty-six to fifty-seven pages in length. Each section includes comprehension questions, vocabulary, and questions for class discussion, essays, and projects. Several of the questions apply to the entire novel rather than specific chapters.
Teachers and students should feel free to consider additional topics and questions—Tolkien's great novels, like all great works of art, will prompt ongoing discussion.
View our lesson plans.