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Recommendations for study guide for Hobbit/LOTR...crosspost

Heather in VA

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I'd like to spend the rest of the year in an in-depth Hobbit/LOTR study with my 8th grader. I'd like something that more than just comprehension questions and something that will help guide me with the symbolism, meanings etc. I know there is the 'Literary Lessons in LOTR' but that does seem like alot of comprehension questions and it's pretty pricey. If it has alot more, I'd like to hear about it. What other options are there for high school level studies of these?


Has anyone used Kolbe guides? I'm not Catholic - I'm Protestant - but I am considering joining a Greek Lit group next year that will use Kolbe so I thought maybe trying it out ahead of time might be good.


Other options?



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We found LLftLotR to be a wonderful, gentle intro into literary analysis, and to give us great background info, point out themes, stimulate great discussion, and provide fantastic additional material on a wide range of related topics.


We cut costs by:

- only using the teacher manual (drops your cost to $50 for a news TM -- and less, if you buy a used copy of the TM); it is a meaty manual!


How we modified LLftLotR:

- skipped the "fill in the blank" vocabulary and comprehension questions

- read aloud together/discussed the wonderful additional notes and discussion questions for every single chapter of all 3 books

- read aloud together/discussed the great material in the 12 additional units




Other ideas for studying Tolkien's work:


I believe Progeny Press (Christian perspective) has lit. guides for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. For Lord of the Rings, look up each of the 3 books of the trilogy under its own title (Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King) to find the guide.

Here is their statement of faith: http://www.progenypress.com/aboutstatementof.html

See sample pages at: http://www.rainbowresource.com'>http://www.rainbowresource.com'>http://www.rainbowresource.com'>http://www.rainbowresource.com



Garlic Press Publishers (secular) has a great, meaty guide for The Hobbit.

Garlic Press: http://garlicpress.com/cgi-bin/shop_gp.cgi?product=LITERATURE

See sample pages at: http://www.rainbowresource.com



One of the 12 units of Hewitt Homeschooling's (Christian perspective) Lightning Literature & Composition for grade 8 covers The Hobbit:




Sparknotes (secular) has free online literature guides for both:

The Hobbit: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/hobbit/

Lord of the Rings:

book 1 = Fellowship of the Ring = http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/fellowship/

book 2 = The Two Towers = http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/twotowers/

book 3 = The Return of the King = http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/returnking/



One of these books about Tolkien's faith and religious symbolism in his work might be of help:

- "Tolkien: A Celebration: Collected Writings on a Literary Legacy" by Joseph Pearce (more of a Catholic perspective)

- "Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of the Lord of the Rings" by Mark Eddy Smith (Christian perspective)



You might look into reading Tolkien's essay on fairy stories, and also look at several of his short stories, especially "Leaf by Niggle" and "Smith of Wooten Major" to get a feel for both how his Catholic faith underpinned his writing, and on the importance of fantasy in expressing moral virtues, and in being a "sub creator" under our Lord and Creator.


Enjoy your journey through Middle Earth! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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