Archive | April, 2013

The Music of Middle-Earth

“But those near him were silent, intent upon the music of the voices and the instruments, and they gave no heed to anything else.” My students and I would like to share a special classroom experience we are having this week, with all of the readers of Teaching Tolkien.  We have been fortunate enough to […]

Reunited…and It Feels So Good

As the hobbits were reunited in Rivendell with Many Meetings, my students were enthusiastic to become reacquainted with some of their favorite characters from The Hobbit, Bilbo and Gandalf.    With the recent stressors my students have experienced in terms of test performance pressure and preparation, I believe emotions influenced by the text were more keenly felt by […]

Carry On

Making time for reading has been a bit of a challenge for my students this week.  As we are getting closer to crunch-time, in terms of the standardized-testing portion of the year, reading for pleasure seems to be viewed as a luxury activity.  Language arts lessons are supposed to be dedicated to test preparation through […]

Because of You

The focus of today’s post is you, the readers of Teaching Tolkien.  One of the benefits of this reading project is the opportunity my students have to interact with people outside of their school and community.  They have greatly enjoyed the interaction from your supportive comments and your positive response to their work.  It has […]

The Face of a Villain

As my students began reading book 2 of Fellowship today and discovered their hobbit friends were all safely arrived in Rivendell, they were greatly relieved to have momentarily left the Ringwraiths behind.  Partially inspired by my student, Ori, whose creative explorations of the text never cease to amaze me; I decided to prepare my students […]

Love Him or Leave Him

As my students flew through the last chapter of Fellowship book 1, Flight to the Ford, we paused a moment to contemplate the story Strider shares with the Hobbits about Beren, a mortal man, in love with the immortal Elf-maiden, Luthien. I was curious to hear what my students had to say about such an unconventional […]

External vs Internal Drive

Motivation is a key factor in completing almost any task.  Without it we feel purposeless, fatigued, bored, and mediocre, but with it we find ourselves capable of achieving the most insurmountable of tasks.  While motivational factors fall into two categories, external and internal, the results of each on performance and achievement have vastly different implications and […]

Heroic Proportions

As my students met the character of Strider today, I wanted to prepare them for the heroic role he will later fulfill in the book.  I began the class by writing the question “what makes a hero” on the board.  To encourage a little bit of creativity in their responses, I asked them to respond […]