View Full Version : Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings

03-20-2013, 11:29 AM
I'm thinking of using this next year for my son who will be in 10th grade. He has read the trilogy a few times and I thought he would enjoy digging a little deeper into the books. Has anyone used this before that could give me some feedback on it? Also, I've read that you need to purchase a special one volume edition of LotR and was wondering if we could get away with using the three separate books that we already own?

03-20-2013, 11:37 AM
Cool idea. Do you have a link to a pre-planned curriculum or are you creating this yourself?

Tolkien is such a rich writer, there are whole college level courses delving into his works, not just LOtR. I would think the three book set would be fine, though, unless the one book version has extras. We have several sets here and they are all a little different as far as size and quality of the maps.

I also learned a lot watching the director’s commentary on the movies.

03-20-2013, 11:52 AM
She's talking about this (http://www.homescholar.org/LOTR%20Curr.htm)ready made curriculum

I'm using it this year with my teen.

The main portion of the curriculum is the worksheets. For us, this works fine. The way the assignments are is that you have pages of reading assigned, and then a section of worksheets. The worksheets, tho, say what chapter it covers, so it should be pretty easy to figure out what goes with what.

There are also 'unit studies' in between the chapters, really just lessons imo, about related subjects, including biographical info and older tales he drew on. This is the part that one reviewer liked the most. Honestly, for me, we had not done ANY literature study yet at all, and it was nice to have it all laid out for us like this.

ok, let me briefly say more about the 'worksheets'. For each chapter, first there is a summary of the chapter where you have to fill in missing words. Some people skip this, because it can seem pretty much like busy work for kids who have high comprehension or have read the book several times. Then there is a vocabulary section, again, skip if its too easy. then there is a discussion area where the curriculum author discusses some of the themes or bigger ideas covered in this chapter. then there are some open-ended questions which you can use as discussion or for written answer questions. Many sections also have suggestions for further writing assignments.

hope that helps?

03-20-2013, 12:04 PM
Wow, I'm gonna have to check that curriculum out. We love LOTR!

Another idea, if you want to go it on your own, is using Excellence in Literature (Reading and Writing Through the Classics). The curriculum gives you assigned books, but you could also just use it as a "how to" guide for literary analysis.

03-21-2013, 05:25 PM
Cara, thanks, that does help. Are you using the one volume LotR? I'm wondering if it contains "extras" that I might need for this curriculum? It sounds perfect for us for next year.

gypsylovecircus - I bookmarked "Excellence in Literature"...might be a good idea for the future! Thanks!

03-22-2013, 11:43 AM
we bought the book from the curriculum publisher, but i'm fairly certain its just the regular book in there, all the 'extras' are in the workbook

03-22-2013, 08:14 PM
I used this a few years ago with my dd. I didn't buy the one volume LOtR book but just used our paper back. The page numbers didn't match up but we managed to get by. I don't recall needing anything else to go along with it, but we didn't do all the extra units either. Overall, my dd and I enjoyed it very much. I plan on using it again with my twins when they're about 8th gr.

Oh, and where religion is the main portion in the literature guides that go with Narnia and Anne of Green Gables, I don't remember religion interwoven with the LOtR's study. There is a religion unit at the back of book, but we didn't use it.

03-22-2013, 11:28 PM
well, in the units about the author they do discuss his religion and how it affected his writing. they also occasionally explain themes as they would relate to the author's religious views. but we are totally athiest and did not find it heavy handed at all.

03-25-2013, 08:52 AM
Another idea, if you want to go it on your own, is using Excellence in Literature (Reading and Writing Through the Classics). The curriculum gives you assigned books, but you could also just use it as a "how to" guide for literary analysis.

gypsylovecircus-have you used this curriculum with your kids? I have questions about the "worldview" parts of it. It doesn't appear to be overly religious at first glance, but the Cathy Duffy review labels it as such, and there are a few other things that make me wonder. I've been burned before, and while it looks really interesting, and something that I'm looking for, I just want to know if the "religious" part of the curriculum can be easily avoided. TIA!

04-12-2013, 12:05 AM
I see from the site that the recommended age grade level is 7 and above, and some of you said you used it with teens. Is it something appropriate for middle school kids? My daughter is 10, going into 6th grade next year and just finished up LoTR for the first time. We're struggling with literary analysis, because while she loves to read, she's hyper-literal. I'd love to find guided reading lessons like this to help me draw her into deeper readings. If this isn't appropriate, do any of you have other suggestions? I just ordered the literary unit for "The Hobbit" from MBtP, but want other (especially other fantasy related) options.

04-12-2013, 12:12 AM
actually, my teen has some issues and is really struggling to figure out the 'themes' . . . its not explained deeply enough that he 'gets'. idk - it is interesting connecting some of the source material. and i admit, im' not working on it closely enough with him - i HATE literary analysis and just wanted some exposure without having to spend too much time on it. my 9 yo still doesnt work independently . . .

04-12-2013, 11:45 AM
DS14 and I had a meeting yesterday about what to do next year and he said he didn't want to do this curriculum after all. I'm disappointed because I thought it sounded interesting. He said he loves the books too much and if he has to analyze them it will take the joy out of reading them. Fair enough!