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Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings???


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Would this curriculum be good for 9th grade?  For anyone who has done this, is there a timeline for completing work (i.e. do this in Week 1, Week 2, etc)?

Would this be enough for 9th grade English if I added WWS2 and Analytical Grammar Reinforcement?  We will be finished with AG this year so would only need the reinforcement book(s)?

 

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We did it in 8th. There is a schedule that is fairly easy to follow, but IIRC it is not by week but you could make it that way.  There is lots of vocabulary study.  You can go deep with writing what it asks you to write about, but in my humble opinion, 9th has a need for more writing (and different kinds of analytical writing) than LLoLOTR requires.  Don't get me wrong, we loved it, but...having her read and analyze stuff she doesn't particularly love (unlike anything Tolkein!) over a broad series of books, poems, essays, etc. has been better for us, school-wise, for 9th (so far).  Her writing/analytical skills have improved because she's had to really stretch herself with some of the reading she's had to do.  Not that LOTR isn't hard...it's just her love for the adventure made it such a pleasure to do this curriculum, whereas uh Heart of Darkness and Walden, not so much (rotfl).

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23 hours ago, mlktwins said:

Would this curriculum be good for 9th grade?  For anyone who has done this, is there a timeline for completing work (i.e. do this in Week 1, Week 2, etc)?


LLftLotR was a high water mark in our homeschooling -- DSs loved it! It is designed to be a 1-year program, and yes, there is a schedule -- see the publisher's website here for free download of daily lesson plans for advanced or for younger students. Also at the website, see the table of contents (for scope of study) and sample lessons (to see if it might be a match for your family).

YES, if you have students highly interested in Tolkien's trilogy, it would be a great option for 9th grade. LLftLotR is listed for grades 7-10 -- I personally think it is ideal for grades 7-9. 

However, NO, I don't think on it's own it is enough for 1 credit of high school English. If using it for high school credit, you definitely need to add more works to the Literature component, and would need to add something for Writing. The program is great as a gentle intro into beginning literary analysis, but lacks any writing component (other than some suggested writing assignments) and the LotR trilogy is not enough Literature for a year of high school English. (We did LLftLotR as an Elective, not as the English credit, so we were simultaneously doing other works & writing for our English credit.) 

One idea might be simultaneously with LLftLotR do portions of CAP's Art of Poetry (could do a little throughout all of the high school years), plus the 1-semester program of Windows to the World, which is an in-depth study of 6 short stories; teaches writing the literary analysis essay, plus goes over 8-10 of the most common literary devices used for literary analysis. That would give you an English credit that covers Literature (3 novels of Lord of the Rings, units of poetry, and short stories), plus Writing (literary analysis essay focus).

Another idea for beefing up the Literature portion of LLftLotR would be to select works of high interest to your family, and use individual lit. guides to expand your study. For example, LLftLotR does touch on other classic works of literature that could be good go-along works of Literature to your study of LotR:
- Medieval lit: Beowulf; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- covered in somewhat detailed study in several units of the program
ancient Greek epics: Iliad; Odyssey -- discussed in the unit on epics
- King Arthur works: Tennyson's poem "Idylls of the King", and, The Once and Future King -- briefly discussed in one unit
- Shakespeare plays: Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream -- mentioned briefly in one of the units

As far as Writing and LLftLotR -- there is no writing instruction, only some suggested writing assignment ideas (most of which were weak, IMO), and no grading rubrics. Doing something like WWS for the Writing portion of an English credit would be fine. Other ideas for high school Writing programs:
Lively Art of Writing (1 semester) + FREE pdf work pages & teacher book (created by WTMers stillwaters and mjbucks1 to go with LAoW, and formatted by WTMer quark)
The Elegant Essay (1 semester) -- covers persuasive essay writing
The Power in Your Hands (1 year) -- written to the student/mostly done solo; covers various types of essays, article-writing, personal/business writing, and the research paper
Essentials in Writing, level 9 (1 year) -- video lessons; also has a grading option for an additional fee; covers paragraph structure; writing process; several essay types; the research paper
 

23 hours ago, mlktwins said:

... We will be finished with AG this year so would only need the reinforcement book(s)?


Unless students are really weak or delayed in Grammar, typically Grammar instruction is completed by the end of 8th grade, and Grammar is used directly in support of Writing (esp. in the revising and proof-editing stages), and in Foreign Language acquisition. Some families do like to include a little light Grammar review (maybe 2x/week) throughout the earlier years of high school to keep the students "fresh" on Grammar concepts for standardized tests. All that to say -- if AG Reinforcement is review, then that would likely be all you'd need, if that.

(And I'll just throw a plug in for The Chortling Bard as a possible different Grammar review for high school from a different perspective. CB is a high school level paragraph/day review of all Grammar concepts + vocabulary, with each day's paragraph adding on to a humorous retelling of one of Shakespeare's plays. See inside at Amazon (what I linked), and if you use the "Surprise Me" tool, you'll actually see some of the paragraphs of the retellings. We used that as our Grammar review, doing it 2-3x/week, taking no more than 5-10 minutes each session. I photocopied the paragraphs, cut them apart and taped two per page of a spiral notebook, and DSs would copy-edit one per session and then we'd discuss (with me looking at the info/ answers in the book), and have fun learning new vocabulary words from the context. It was fun, fast, and it covered a lot of ground in a short paragraph per session. JMO!)

All that to say, you can have a LOT of fun with LLftLotR as the spine of an English credit next year, as long as you add in some more Lit. and some Writing instruction. I also would suggest adapting LLftLotR a bit, by dropping the fill-in-the-blank comprehension questions at the start of each chapter's lessons, skip the vocabulary quizzes (unless you all enjoy that type of exercise), and focus on the "meat" of the program -- the chapter notes, discussion questions at the end of the chapter notes, and the 12 units of tangential material.

Enjoy! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Used as written, it wouldn't be a favorite.  But, using the author's knowledge and units as springboards for a journey with Tolkien, yes, it is fabulous.  I have used it with multiple kids and differently each time.  My last time through was with my now college sophomore.  I think we did it in either 10th or 11th grade.  But, I only use her unit info to help me put together what I want to do.  I don't even come close to saying I have used LLfLOTR as sold.

For example, dd and I started off reading The Silmarillion alongside Norse mythology.  Then we read the recently released Fall of Arthur alongside Idylls of the King.  As we went through the trilogy, we read Sir Gawain, Beowulf, works of Shakespeare, Pearce's bio on Tolkien, an Kreeft's Philosophy of Tolkien, listened to Pearce on Tolkien, listened to  Kreeft on LOTR, etc.  I love studying lit like this.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I think it is helpful for interesting related material— I found some of it interesting— but most of it is reading the chapter and answer comprehension questions. 

I bought it for seventh or eighth grade for a kid who had already read the books and saw it wouldn’t work well, then tried with a seventh grader who had not read it and abandoned pretty quickly. But that has happened every time we have tried those type of literature guides. They can work for some books but sometimes too much of that type of thing and going so slowly can ruin the experience. It depends on the book and the student.

Edited by Penelope
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Yes! I used it with 8th and 9th graders one year. We fluffy purple heart loved it. If we did any of the fill in the blanks exercises it was orally. The discussion questions, essay suggestions, extra units, etc were fabulous. I started skipping the vocab but that became one kid's favorite part. 😄 We read an extra book on the side to correlate with the units. It was a fabulous year. 

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We used it in 9th grade for my DS who needed a *lot* of improvement in his writing and was reluctant to do the writing program I thought he needed (IEW). We didn't use it as written at all, because it included a lot of vocab and comprehension questions that were busywork on my opinion. Basically we ignored thise sections and he re-read the books and used the extra info units as springboards for writing projects he was actually interested in and his writing really did improve that year.

What he still doesn't know 2 years later is that I created the writing assignments based on IEW's units and he got the writing program instruction I wanted anyway 😎

For us the best part about LLftLotR was that it generated excitement and got his buy in to doing high school level English.

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