Happy Hobbit Day! Epic adventure, inspired mythology, and compelling characters make The Hobbit a fun addition to your homeschool any time. But Hobbit Day is a great excuse to make time for a little Tolkien in your homeschool. Here’a a little round-up of ideas for celebrating everybody’s favorite Middle Earth-people.
- Tolkien's World from A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth: Just as its name suggests, Robert Foster’s comprehensive, dictionary- style book explains the legends, history, geography, and inhabitants of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between the Maiar and the Istari, this is the book for you.
- Teacher’s Guide: Teaching The Hobbit: If you want to take a traditional, literature class-style approach to The Hobbit (complete with discussion questions and vocabulary notes), Random House’s free teacher’s guide is a handy resource.
- Introducing J.R.R. Tolkien: There are plenty of biographies of The Hobbit’s creator, but this one from the C.S. Lewis review has some nice details about Tolkien’s relationship with the author of the Narnia books and their shared interest in fantasy literature.
- The Tolkien Professor: Tolkien-obsessed literature professor Corey Olsen’s lectures are delightfully detailed.
- The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection: It’s worth listening to these recordings of Tolkien reading his work just to hear Tolkien make the odd, distinctive gulping sound he imagined for Gollum.
- The Hobbit: The 1977 animated version of The Hobbit is quirky, charming, and surprisingly faithful.
- The Hobbit Trilogy: I personally wasn’t a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptation of The Hobbit (which took out stuff I really liked, added in stuff that never happened, and stretched out a perfectly paced story over three films—but I digress), but even if you’re picking the flicks apart as you watch, a movie marathon is totally fun way to get in the Middle Earth spirit.
- Modern Writers: J.R.R. Tolkien: The BBC’s 1968 interview with Tolkien captures the very beginning of the Middle Earth craze and features the author strolling through his beloved Oxford, chatting about everything from the enchantment of the natural world to his fondness for beer.
- Learn Rune Writing. The Tolkien Society introduces the runic alphabet. Use it to translate, invent, or just write notes in secret code. I think it’s run to write the characters on river rocks or clay shapes to make a tactile runic alphabet.
- Keep a Character Diary. Use Thorin’s diary as inspiration for creating your own character diary as you read.
- Explore the Hero’s Journey. Bilbo’s grand adventure falls into a long tradition of epic stories, and ReadWriteThink’s interactive exploration of the hero’s journey is a great introduction to this literary staple.