All Things Tolkien

I just found out (from the website Days of the Year) that March 25 is "Tolkien Reading Day."  Who knew there was such a wonderful thing?!  So of course, this week's featured resource had to be Houghton Mifflin's JRR Tolkien website.  

There are many useful resources on this website.  There are reader's guides and educator's guides for "The Hobbit" and the three volumes of  "Lord of the Rings."  The reader's guides consist of open-ended questions based on quotes or events in the books.  These would be great to use with a co-op group reading the books, or just in your own family.  The educator's guide for "The Hobbit" includes pre- and post-reading activities, discussion questions for exploring literary elements (including character, symbolism, themes and more) and suggestions for further reading.  The "Lord of the Rings" educator's guides are organized somewhat differently.  For every few chapters there are comprehension questions (which can be answered in one or two sentances,) vocabulary words and discussion/essay questions.

Another free resource on the site is a set of lesson plans for a complete course on the four volumes.  (The description says it's designed for a nine week course, but my family would have taken much longer to cover this material.)  There are nine units, and each includes notes for teachers, handouts, discussion topics, suggested activities and more.  The suggested activities are pretty classroom-oriented, but could be adapted for home use.  Or, better yet, find one or two other families and form a Tolkien co-op group.

The site also contains some other Tolkien reference materials and quite a bit of biographical information about the author.  And, since it's a site from the publisher, you can buy many editions of all Tolkien's works.  

This is a wonderful site for anyone who's fallen in love with Middle Earth!  Go to the website and see what interests you.  Or add a comment to my resource listing to share your impressions and ideas.

Happy Homeschooling!