Skies of Rohan - Teaching Tolkien

Skies of Rohan - Teaching Tolkien

This page lists resources and references available for assistance in teaching J.R.R. Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Suggestions and reference materials are listed from the following sources:

From Houghton Mifflin. . .

Teacher's Guides

Houghton Mifflin provides Reader's Guides and Teacher's Guides free of charge for both the THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. These excellent reference materials may be accessed by going to Houghton Mifflin's THE LORD OF THE RINGS web page at The Teacher's Guide to The Lord of the Rings is intended to assist teachers and students in appreciating both the world of Frodo and his companions and J.R.R. Tolkien's accomplishment in constructing that world. The Teacher's Guide is divided into sections corresponding to reading assignments that range from thirty-six to fifty-seven pages in length. Each section includes comprehension questions, vocabulary and questions for class discussion, essays and projects. Several of the questions apply to the entire novel rather than specific chapters. The Teacher's Guide was written by Hal Hager, who taught American and English literature for ten years at the college level, including courses and seminars in the twentieth-century English novel.

Tolkien's Middle-earth: Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators

Houghton Mifflin has also made available a wonderful new feature titled 'Tolkien's Middle-earth: Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators'. These lesson plans contain a collection of curriculum resources for secondary school educators who want to help students explore the literary phenomenon that is J.R.R. Tolkien. There are a total of NINE separate Units, with each Unit containing an OverView, Comments for Teachers, Preliminary Quiz, Key Terms, Handouts, Discussion Topics, Suggested Activities and Bibliography. Each unit was designed to last one week, but additional materials have been included for teachers who wish to explore certain themes in depth. These Lesson Plans were written by James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow in consultation with Amy Allison, Gregory Miller, Sarah Rito and Jason Zanitsch. The Lesson Plans are only available on the Houghton Mifflin web site at

From Skies of Rohan. . .

Did You Know . . .

Although the Peter Jackson movies are wonderful representations of the book, the movie makers had to compress the story in many ways. In so doing, a great deal of background information and character development had to be left out. Teachers and librarians may wish to utilize our Did you know? document to assist in encouraging students to read the books. This document contains tidbits of information about the story and characters that would not be known by just seeing the movies. Students may be surprised and excited to know that the books contain much more information and details about their favorite characters. Examples of some of the teasers contained in this document are:

  • More than fifteen years pass between Bilbo's birthday party (after which he gave the Ring to Frodo and left the Shire) and the day that Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin depart the Shire with the Ring.
  • Aragorn was only two years old when his father was killed by Orcs. His grandfather had been killed by Trolls the year before Aragorn's birth. After his fathers death, Aragorn was taken with his mother to dwell in Rivendell where he would be protected by the Elves. Elrond took the place of his father and came to love him as a son. Although the Dark Lord felt he had killed all of the heirs to the throne, Sauron's servants never stopped searching for a living heir of Isildur.
  • Legolas's father, Thranduil, is the King of the Wood Elves of Northern Mirkwood, and had the responsibility for keeping Gollum captive.

From The Tolkien Society . . .

Education Section Home Page

The Education Section of The Tolkien Society contains a variety of sections devoted to many aspects of presenting educational topics on J.R.R. Tolkien and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Their Education Section has put together a home page providing links to such information as: Help for Students, Study Packs, Ideas for Teachers, Education Bibliography, Putting on a Tolkien Event in a library or school, Personal Development, Church Groups, and Researching Tolkien. This information may be accessed by going to The Tolkien Society's Education Home page at Visit the Education Home Page.
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