December 18, 2001
Web posted at: 12:24 PM EST (1724 GMT)
Overview: What are some universal themes found in literature? How does J.R.R. Tolkien utilize these themes in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy? Use the article and discussion/activity to give students the opportunity to identify 20th century events that correspond to the literary themes used in the novel.
Curriculum Connections: Language Arts, World History
Have students read the CNNfyi.com article,"The secret of Tolkien's 'Rings,'" and ask the following questions:
1. Who is J.R.R. Tolkien? When did he write the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy? Why does the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy still attract an audience? When was an animated/live-action version of "The Lord of the Rings" first produced? Was it successful? What kind of audience reception are producers of the current version expecting?
2. Who is David Averill-Pence? Who are the two "camps of fans" who take in the message boards on the Web site? How do the two camps differ?
3. What are some traditional elements of a fairy tale mentioned in the article? How does Tolkien utilize these elements in his novel? Would you consider "The Lord of the Rings" a fairy tale? Why or why not?
4. Brainstorm with students a list of universal literary themes. Ask: Which universal themes can be found in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy? Share the quote by Tom Shippey: "Tolkien's imaginings are a reflection of the 20th century's turbulent history." Do students agree or disagree with this statement? Direct each student to identify and research a 20th century event that corresponds with one of the literary themes used in the novel. Share students' findings. Have students write essays explaining how Tolkien's trilogy utilizes universal themes using one or more corresponding 20th century events as examples. Invite students to share their essays.
1. Ask students: Have you ever watched a movie based on a book after you read it? Which did you prefer, and why? What features do you think that movies can enhance about a book? Which elements are better in books? Have students write persuasive essays to parents in support of or against reading a book before seeing its related movie. Invite students to share their essays.
2. After seeing the film, students can write movie reviews on "The Lord of the Rings."
The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship Of The Ring Official Movie Site : Trailer, Pictures, Wallpaper, Pic, Film, Preview, Screensaver, Desktop Theme, Art, Toys, Download, News
THELORDOFTHERINGS.com -- Your guide to all things Middle-earth!
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