Tolkien in the Classroom
#1
I am once again using LOTR in my classroom, this time around with seniors. Only about 30% of my students have seen at least the first Peter jackson film, and a bare handful have actually tried to read the books, so this is brand new territory for most of them.

I have brought them to a name-generating site (always silly fun), printed out an elvish alphabet for them to play with, and allowed them to paw through my collection of "Tolkienalia."

The main reason I am placing this thread here is to let Dixieberry know that her gift of a class set of The Fellowship of the Ring is still being used and enjoyed, as more young people are introduced to Middle Earth. I made sure my students knew where the books came from, and I want to thank Dixieberry again from the bottom of my heart for making my Tolkien unit possible.:daisy: :daisy: :daisy:
When I die, I will know that I was alive, and that I loved and was loved. (moif)
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#2
Good on ye, DB. Eldanuumea, if you need a Sil '77, I can help.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#3
Attalus, I am grateful for whatever help my Inkling friends can offer!

I have my illustrated Silmarillion on display, and at least one student has expressed interest in reading it.
When I die, I will know that I was alive, and that I loved and was loved. (moif)
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#4
Eldanuumea Wrote:Attalus, I am grateful for whatever help my Inkling friends can offer!

I have my illustrated Silmarillion on display, and at least one student has expressed interest in reading it.
Okay, PM me (or e-mail me) a snail-mail address, and I'll shoot it your way.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#5
I think it's great when Tolkien is introduced into the classroom! I have contact with schools and teachers in my paying job, and you'd be surprised how many will not allow Tolkien. Confusedo:
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#6
Odd. I don't know about Tolkien, but my ten year old son and I are steadily reading through The Chronicles of Narnia for his AR (Advanced Reading) class. We are on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader at present. I'm going to try and slip in Dunsany's "Idle Days On the Yann", a personal favorite.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#7
Doncoriel Wrote:I think it's great when Tolkien is introduced into the classroom! I have contact with schools and teachers in my paying job, and you'd be surprised how many will not allow Tolkien. Confusedo:

"Will not allow" Tolkien? For goodness sake, why?
Many of my students would never have even thought of watching or reading anything to do with LOTR, but imagination has a way of working miracles when properly stimulated.:up:
When I die, I will know that I was alive, and that I loved and was loved. (moif)
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#8
Eldanuumea Wrote:"Will not allow" Tolkien? For goodness sake, why?
Many of my students would never have even thought of watching or reading anything to do with LOTR, but imagination has a way of working miracles when properly stimulated.:up:
Tolkien and Lewis both enjoy the dubious honor of being banned from some classrooms-either by school decision or by individual teacher's themselves-because of what is deemed "religious" theme.
I know, I know. It sounds ridiculous. But I can unfortunately assure you it is true.
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#9
How interesting.Most teachers who use Tolkien in the classroom are usually middle school teachers. They don't teach the lord of the rings but the hobbit.They make posters about the characters like a typical reading class does or charts.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#10
Have you considered using "Mary Sue" stories? That is, ask your kids to write a short story inserting themselves into "The Lord of the Rings" at a point of their choosing, and showing how their being there would change an event (for the better, one would hope).
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#11
Or perhaps just a point-of-view story.

Like:
Upon the Gladden bank
doing my business,
Saw Isildur going down,
saw where he sank.

And so on.
If some Disney-princess can do it, why not Sauron?
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#12
I like both Mordomin and Elenmir's ideas. Potential to inspire some imagination, thought, and discussion. How exciting!

*My younger sisters love both LOTR and Chronicles of Narnia. They have read the books, seen the movies, memorized book and movie dialog, and written themselves "Mary Sue" stories. I think it's great!!
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#13
Doncoriel Wrote:Tolkien and Lewis both enjoy the dubious honor of being banned from some classrooms-either by school decision or by individual teacher's themselves-because of what is deemed "religious" theme.
I know, I know. It sounds ridiculous. But I can unfortunately assure you it is true.

(to the tune of "Smokin' in the Boys' Room," by Brownsville Station, covered by Motley Crue: )
Confuseding:
"Tolkien in the classroom
Tolkien in the classroom
Now teacher doncha fill me
Up with your rules
'Cause everybody knows that
Tolkien ain't allowed in school..." :music:

I wonder if they have a similar edict regarding, say, The Golden Compass, or the Da Vinci Code, or perhaps Harry Potter, or even Greek, Norse, or Hindu mythology, as allegedly pushing some POV on one or more religious faiths?
Many Defeats & Many Fruitless Victories Memoirs Gateway
For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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#14
Doncoriel Wrote:Tolkien and Lewis both enjoy the dubious honor of being banned from some classrooms-either by school decision or by individual teacher's themselves-because of what is deemed "religious" theme.
I know, I know. It sounds ridiculous. But I can unfortunately assure you it is true.

We read The Hobbit in 5th grade, and Lord of the Rings sometime in middle school. Many students did book reports an biogrpahies of Tolkien. He was very much in fashion in my school.

I know Lewis is pretty blatantly religious, but there's hardly any overt religion in Tolkien's stories.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#15
Mordomin Wrote:Have you considered using "Mary Sue" stories? That is, ask your kids to write a short story inserting themselves into "The Lord of the Rings" at a point of their choosing, and showing how their being there would change an event (for the better, one would hope).

That is a great idea. Next year - I hope - I will no longer have to suffer with seniors (arrogant, lazy people, the whole lot of them, including my own daughter :thud: ) and I will plan to use LOTR with my accelerated sophomores. That would be great fun for them.


**Actually, my baby girl is neither arrogant nor especially lazy, but like most seniors, she has pretty much shut it down.
When I die, I will know that I was alive, and that I loved and was loved. (moif)
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#16
Alvin Eriol Wrote:I wonder if they have a similar edict regarding, say, The Golden Compass, or the Da Vinci Code, or perhaps Harry Potter, or even Greek, Norse, or Hindu mythology, as allegedly pushing some POV on one or more religious faiths?

Well I doubt Golden Compass, DaVinci Code or Harry Potter are being taught in too many schools, in with Shakespeare and Faulkner and Joyce. (Disclaimer: if they actually are being taught in a dozen different schools, that still gets rounded down to 0 %. Wink ) I would think Greek and Norse mythology would be taught as fiction (i.e. make-believe) like say, reading the Odyssey in English class, or listening to The Valkyrie in music appreciation class, since there aren't too many priests of Zeus running around trying to recruit people for their church. :laugh: Now as for Hinduism....maybe I'm showing my ignorance here, but are there a lot of Hindu-religion-centric novels or plays or poems in English literature? I mean, ones that have become classics over the last century or two, and would be taught somewhere? Apart from the Iliad and the Odyssey, I don't recall anything by any non-English language authors being taught in English class in high school......and you only read those if you were in college prep classes...
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#17
Joyce?! I cannot make head or tails of Joyce.

God help the little ones forced to read Joyce!

Some years ago I read that there was a fad in China for using Joyce's works as an oracle.
:deadhorse:
"A Iluvatarinya! En na pelecco carinyesse!"
"Oh my God! There's an axe in my head!" :worry:

http://www.yamara.com/axe/#Q1
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#18
Coconut Ent Wrote:Joyce?! I cannot make head or tails of Joyce.
Me, either.

However, I would point out that The Bhagavad-Gita is a fairly standard study in college-level World Literature courses. I certainly saw it on a reading list in the late 90s.
Quote:The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit भगवद् गीता, Bhagavad Gītā, "Song of God") is an important Sanskrit Hindu scripture. It is revered as a sacred scripture of Hinduism.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#19
Attalus Wrote:The Bhagavad-Gita is a fairly standard study in college-level World Literature courses. I certainly saw it on a reading list in the late 90s.

Yep, but I think we're talking about grade-school classes. Smile I agree on Joyce, and very nearly managed to avoid him, but for a 12-grade English class for college-bound seniors. I think the sub-title should have been "Hallucinatory Lit," since we also read Red Badge of Courage, Catch-22, King Lear, and assorted poems by Yeats. :poke:
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#20
Many of us try for more diversity these days. The adopted textbook anthologies have begun to include works from other cultures which thematically compliment the usual "canon" of stuff.

As for novels, I've used Anthem, Ender's Game, The Martian Chronicles, and hope to bring in perhaps Octavia Butler or someone of equal caliber. The problem is finding the resources to accompany the works. I have developed some myself, but that takes an unbelievable amount of time.

There are works from both ancient and recent Chinese and Indian writers in our anthologies, but they tend to be verse rather than prose.

My theater classes study Oedipus Rex and learn at least a little about Ancient Greek culture. I try to get in as much as I can, because in our school system, "World History" begins with the Enlightenment and course content centers on matters most directly affecting American concerns. Our students are pitifully unlearned when it comes to the history and cultural contributions of Ancient Egypt, Sumeria, Greece, Rome, China, India, Japan, South America, or Africa. But, by golly, they know what they need to about WWI and WWII, Viet Nam and the Cold War, enough to pass the state's history exit exam.
:bla: Unfortunately, that's what most of them think of history.

**********************
I just remembered, I am considering using Q & A, the novel upon which Slumdog Millionaire is based, along with the film, of course. I am wondering whether some of the material is inappropriate for 9th or 10th graders. August, you are from the "Deep South" as well; have you read that book, and if so, do you think my students could handle it? (Or their parents??)
When I die, I will know that I was alive, and that I loved and was loved. (moif)
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